A couple very close to me are facing a lot of trouble at work - blows , wounds and cuts at the hands of their managers, who despise them for their Christian faith. The atheist managers candidly say all their friends are in hell.
My beloved people are enduring under very frustrating and humiliating circumstances. But they are trusting God in the midst of gloomy times. Many of us when we pass through muddy waters start blaming God for our situation and some become bitter and distant. We start questioning God for His dealings with us.
The lesson I have learnt is that God uses trials to mature and purify us and teach us wisdom and patience.
Here is a short devotion from Joni Eareckson Tada for our encouragement.
Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.
The first time I read this verse, I cringed. It brought up contorted images of the
Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials - or at best, stern, tight-lipped
schoolmarms walking the classroom aisles with a rod in hand. Proverbs may be a
book filled with wisdom and godly instruction, but this verse seemed better suited
for the 16th century.
But my heart has warmed to Proverbs 20:30. That's because I'm writing this vignette
from my bed where I have been spending long days dealing with severe back pain.
The encroachment of my disability has humbled me of late: my pride has taken a severe
beating as I've missed deadlines; I feel humiliated doing "business" from my bed;
and I've had to bite my tongue from grumbling. God is forcing me to learn the deeper
meaning of Psalm 119:67, 71, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey
your word...It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees."
God may land a knock-out blow to your puffed-up pride. He may wound your heart through
a deep disappointment. He will go to great lengths to beat hateful habits out of
your character and purge selfishness from your soul. Your ego may feel trampled.
But that's not bad. I, for one, know I will come out the other end all the richer
and happier for the wounding. It's what Proverbs 20:30 is all about.
* * * * * * *
Your God is not a stern, tight-lipped celestial ogre. He's not on a witch hunt.
He is the kind Father who has compassion on his children (Psalm 103:13). He's also
the wise and wonderful God described in Hebrews 12:10 who "...disciplines us for
our good, that we may share in his holiness." Join me today in saying "Though he
slay me, yet will I hope in him..." (Job 13:15).
Lord God, remind me when I feel beaten
At the end let me share photos of sweets we enjoyed with Ashish and Megan. The ones in the center are like sugar birdies.
Have a sweet weekend