Today for my Spiritual Sunday post I am sharing from my Billy Graham Devotional ~ Unto the Hills. To join in and share your own post go here
Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as adversity has done. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, the most poignant poems, the most gripping stories. Out of suffering and tears have come the greatest spirits and the most blessed lives.
J.R. Miller wrote, "Many of us find life hard and full of pain. We cannot avoid these things; but we should not allow the harsh experiences to deaden our sensibilities, or make us stoical or sour. The true problem of living is to keep our hearts sweet and gentle in the hardest conditions and experiences."
Our oldest daughter married a Swiss. They had seven children and usually spent their summers in Switzerland and their winters in America. Sometimes when we visited them in Switzerland we took the children and went high up in the Alps on chair lifts. We crossed over miles of land, looking down below at some of the most beautiful flowers to be found anywhere in the world. Those flowers had survived the heavy snows of winter. The burdens of ice, snow and winter storms added to their luster, beauty, and growth. It was hard to believe that just a few weeks earlier these flowers were buried under many feet of snow. Our burdens can have the same effect on our lives.
As Christians face the winds of adversity and the storms of trouble, they rise like the skylark. They are like the trees that survive the storm because their roots are driven deep. They are like the trees that grow on our mountain ridges in North Carolina ~ trees battered by winds, yet, trees in which we find the stronger wood.
The skylark, the flowers, the trees -- all these illustrate Job's words: "When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (23:10NIV). The Christian who understands this aspect of God's nature can find comfort in his suffering and peace in his pain. "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal." (Job 5:17-18NIV)
Our Father and Our God, thank YOU for the blessings and burdens of my life. Please help me to be gentle and sweet, in spite of hard expriences and difficult times. Teach me to be humble in good times. Let others see Your Strength and love shine through my life at all times. Because of Christ. Amen.