What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.
~ Gertrude Jekyll
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; Iam. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
~ Mark 8:36
I would not want to go back and relive having a nail removed from my foot, or sitting on a very large wasp and feeling my leg go numb. I would not want to be chastised in public again by a person I thought was a friend. I would not want to realize I had been lied to…again. I would not want to sit through the splitting up of a church ever again. Or the rending of the heart in divorce. Not ever.
These things are a sampling of painful experiences I am sure are not exclusive to me; I am sure many of you have experience these and more. I would not want to experience them again, but I would not trade the lessons I learned from each of these times.
To be fulfilled, one has to experience the pain and recovery from situations we would not knowingly choose. I have a friend who is unable to face bullies on his job. There are a couple of older women who run all over my friend. This person has no trouble speaking out to those who will listen, but the bullies run rampant at their job and it affects all the other employees.
We are all children of God, not just the ones under the age of 18. And so we must be there when God’s children hurt, not necessarily be ready to strike back, we must let them argue, so that they can learn how, we must tell folks when they are not behaving properly, so that they can grow, not stay in their childlike state at the age of 65 when they still throw temper tantrums.
Today, lovingly help someone grow. Give thanks for the pain that has polished you into burnished gold.
Because of Him,