Monthly Archives: July 2010
“…He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)
I’m sure many of us will not forget last week’s intense heat wave that kept many of us indoors in order to keep cool. Despite our home’s air conditioning running at almost full hilt, many of us still felt the effects of the sun’s blazing heat and humidity in more ways than one. Exhausted is the word I’m sure many of us can relate to as there was just no getting away from this midsummer inferno!
No doubt many of us wonder why on earth we were slammed with such soaring temperatures; what good does it serve – what purpose is in this heat when we just cannot seem to function in it? We are quick to assess and count something as useless when it doesn’t ‘serve’ our purposes or when we do not see the immediate benefits.
As I was gathering ripe figs from our tree yesterday morning, it dawned on me (as the last two years yielded no edible fruit) that last week’s debilitating heat had actually done the trick. Had we not those days to aid nature’s growth, we’d be minus juicy figs!
I kind of relate this allegory to our own Christian lives. The writer to the Hebrews states that discipline for the moment as it takes place ‘seems’ painful rather than pleasant. At times we wonder why we experience some of the heartaches we do, especially when we see no purpose in it whatsoever. We dislike those ‘pruning phases’ as well, where everything is stripped back and our lives seem so bare. During the process, we murmur that we’re ruined and our life is worse off than it ever was – so it seems! How we question the Father’s hand in dealing with us because it brings no immediate relief – the patience of God – in showing us that such treatment is revealing our true son-ship; He has received us and as Peter says that we are obtaining the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9). We have been saved but wait with confident anticipation for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23) by God and by whom we have already been sealed by the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). Indeed, the work that He has begun will be brought to completion (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 12:2).
All through our fiery trials – the heat of the moment – is the process by which He is working ALL things together for His glory and our good; it’s in the high temperatures, to the point where we almost faint, that we grow leaps and bounds and prove as the writer to the Hebrews states, “…but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”