And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4
As I do most days, I opened my eyes this morning and first thing placed my glasses over them. Next, I picked up my phone to check out the Bible verse of the day. This was the one posted for today... Romans 5:3-4
It's a good one. All Bible verses are... all Scripture is God-breathed and good for our instruction. I know that. You probably know that too. So, then why do I so easily resist some of them?
Perhaps a better question is this; why do I resist the One who loves me best?
My first reaction to this particular word of truth was this:
I know, Lord, because You say so, affliction is good and builds character and all that, but that doesn't make it easy. And I'm not going to pretend it's easy in front of other people either. Believe me, Lord, I know I do my fair share of resisting affliction even though I want the benefits You promise. I just really don't love going through the afflicting part.
I'm quite sure I didn't need to tell God all of that. He already knows how I feel and what I'm thinking. However, I think (I want to believe) my Heavenly Father might just get a smile on His glory-shining face when He hears me sharing my pondering thoughts with Him.
I know the smile that finds a home on my face when I get to watch and listen to my favorite almost 3-year-old girl. Sometimes when I am watching her, I catch a glimpse of my small self before a Great and Awesome Father God. I witness her response to teachable moments through the filter of her limited life perspective, and I simultaneously experience Holy Spirit teaching me similar lessons from a grown up perspective. We're both growing up!
One of these teachable moments happened just recently when I got to go along for a swim lesson. My girl got into the water, just the steps at first, and received her goggles. The 15 minute lesson was comprised of a series of progressively more challenging tasks. As I look back now there was a definite pattern established between instructor and little swimmer throughout the lesson. As you read what happened next, see if you recognize the pattern like I did.
Each time the instructor asked my little swimmer to try a new task, little swimmer shook her head no and then performed the task as instructed. I really only caught on when the swim instructor asked my girl to jump into the pool from the side. The instructor stood in the pool with hands out and said, "Jump to me!" There was a significant hesitation in response to this request. Apparently, this was the most challenging part of the lesson (perhaps the affliction) and little swimmer resisted.
Suddenly she jumped right into the pool. The instructor seemed as surprised as anyone else. You see a split second before little swimmer jumped into the pool she said, "No!" I watched this scenario play out 3 or 4 more times until the swim instructor exclaimed, "Well you keep telling me no, and then jump in anyway!"
Yes, Lord, I get it! I see myself in this little one. The affliction is here in my life, and it's increasing in intensity as I learn and grow and become the woman You've always intended me to be. My little swimmer girl wanted so badly to swim like a big girl. She heard the instructor and wanted to obey, but the request seemed too much at times. Wasn't this too hard for such a little one? She resisted.
And then almost simultaneously she obeyed. She dropped her resistance and complied. As a result, by the end of the first 15-minute lesson, she had made amazing accomplishments. Besides that, she was looking forward to coming back for the next lesson at the pool.
Oh, Father, I am so much like this little one. I hear You. I want so much to obey and to make You proud. And yet, at times Your request just seems too hard. Don't You think this is too much for me? I resist You and Your request to endure the affliction under Your coaching. May I learn from my little girl swimmer to simultaneously jump in and trust You fully.
Please forgive me for the times I resist You. You are the One who loves me best. Thank You for Your patience with me and the confidence You have in me to instruct me to the next level of growth and endurance. I love You, Father! ~Lisa
~ Meet Lisa Brittain ~
Hi. I'm so glad you stopped by. My name is Lisa and I am the founder of this website. My ministry is called Eyes on Jesus and Shine which comes from Psalm 34:5
My desire is to help others run toward Jesus and not away. I want to walk with you and introduce you to Him. I'll leave you two alone so you can find out for yourself; Who He is and who you are as you become adopted into God's family.
I love to walk through life with friends who help me keep my eyes on Jesus, and then I get to help them too when they forget. My hope is to live the overflow of my walk with Jesus so that His love shines bright through me and becomes a contagious joy for everyone I meet for the rest of my days on earth.