Kicking Against the Goads

Hardship is not something we include on our “todo” list, it arrives unexpected and interrupts our neatly scheduled plans. Unannounced it comes onto the scene and usually our first response is “why”? Following close behind is a hearty “I don’t have time for this!” We resist suffering, wasting strength and time trying to avoid the inevitable encounter. We fail to realize that hardship and suffering are a necessary part of life. Not only are they imperative to our Christian growth, they both are a divine calling for every believer.

According to Romans chapter five, suffering produces endurance. The a Book of James claims that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. Hardship and suffering are the catalyst which God uses to bring about Godly character in our lives. Like unrefined metal we must be separated from our impurities. After this process takes place we become ready for use in God’s Kingdom.

Philippians chapter one verse twenty-nine states, “for it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should….suffer for his sake”. Paul and Timothy, wrote this for our benefit, so that we would expect suffering and see it for what it is, an appointment with God. Many times when we experience hardship and suffering, we resist and even fight against the circumstances. We seek God’s deliverance from these difficult moments, when in fact we should embrace them, as trials appointed for us by a loving God. Both Romans and James share not only that suffering and hardship should be expected, but also that we should confront them with a positive attitude. The words that Paul and James use actually go even further to say we should be joyous and rejoice.

When God deems us ready for such growth, He invites us to come. Desiring our best, He leads us into an appointed season of refinement. If we choose to cling to Him, this refinement will ultimately bring glory to God and take us to a new level of maturity in Christ.

When hardships come don’t waste valuable time and energy “kicking against the goads”, instead rejoice that you have been deemed worthy and draw near to God. Allow Him to strip away the parts of you which do not bring Him glory. In doing this each of us will become useful for God’s service and better able to reflect God’s character to the world around us.

Note: For a better understanding of the phrase “kicking against the goads”, see the following link.
http://www.jesus.org/early-church-history/the-apostle-paul/how-did-paul-kick-against-the-goads.html

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Moldy Fingernails

Did you know that mold can grow under your fingernails?
It’s true.

Eleven years ago just before Zion was born we rented a house here in Mexico. It was a musty and humid home. The bathroom sky light leaked and we were constantly combating mold around its seal. The master closet was so humid that the wooden shelves also molded. Needless to say the closet quickly became off limits. While living in that house we truly learned to hold material possessions very loosely. We lost shoes, belts, and clothes, all to the mold infestation.

One day I noticed that Trinity, then about 3 years old, had the dirtiest little fingernails. I cleaned them, and later noticed that mine were dirty too. The next day I noticed that once again we both had dirty fingernails. I just couldn’t imagine what we had been doing to get so much dirt under our finger nails.

I do not remember how long it took me to figure out that what I thought was dirt was in fact mold.

Rodney, Trinity and I actually had mold growing under our fingernails.
I never knew that was possible.
Did you?

A breath of fresh air….literally

Mazamitla

Rain, pitter patter
The smell of pine trees fills the air.
Fresh, quiet, retreat
Life slows….
I stand in awe, taking in Your beauty
Still tranquility

Fire, pop crackle
Mesmerized by your dance
Peaceful, radiating warmth
Time slows….
I sit quietly, savoring this moment
Refreshing warmth

Wind, slowly blowing
Revived as you surround me
Crisp, gentle breeze
I am alive…
A deep breath, my senses awakened
Exhilarating peace

I’m glad we finally met…..

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