by Rev Steve Nickodemus
Caught in the brambles…
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“…but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance…”
This balloon, with the big smiley face, was having such a great day until…it got caught in these blackberry vines and all the air went right out of him.
Do you feel like this balloon? As though everything was going just great, and according to your plans, when you were caught in the brambles of unforeseen trials? Has suffering, and grief, deflated your happiness? Does the circumstances, and trials, of your life have you stuck in a really bad place? Has your “nice day” turned into a nightmare of pain and anguish?
In the middle of the thorns, it is very hard to see what God might be doing. We ask, “Why is this happening?” or, “God, why don’t you just take this away?”. In the midst of our suffering, and stuck place, we cannot see what good might come out of all of this suffering.
“But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” At the moment we do not wish to rejoice in our suffering, and we probably do not want the perseverance and faith that come through suffering. We are Americans and we want a quick fix.
However, God’s ways are not our ways. He will allow briers, thorns, and suffering in our lives if it might lead to greater endurance and faith in the long run. Our Lord Jesus’ suffering, and death, on the cross is not the way His disciples envisioned the kingdom of God would come, but that is God’s way.
Do you feel stuck? Are you suffering, or in grief and pain? This could be God’s way of drawing you closer to Him in Christ Jesus.
Lord, in the midst of my suffering, grant me a vision of Your plan and give me perseverance, and faith, in You. Amen.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado