[Written while in Uganda]
God is shaping me each day by His Nature so that I may be prepared in every way possible for all that He has before me. Am I mistaking difficult tasks that God gives me with suffering? More then I care to admit!
I see how my kids respond when they have an insane amount of homework. You’d think they’ve been chained to a pole and told they will not be fed until all work is finished. “It’s unfair!” and “I can’t do all this work!” are the cries that screech throughout our house and I admit… I do my best not to laugh! What they don’t grasp yet is how sometimes it takes extra work to learn what we need to pass our lessons in order to advance to the next level of our learning. The homework is their preparation for exams to come. Exams are the preparation for the knowledge they’ll need for life and future careers. And God works in our lives in the very same way. But sometimes I mistake God’s homework for me with torture and suffering. And like my kids, I spend more time crying and complaining about the hard work He’s given me then just getting down to it and getting it done.
The hard work He gives me is the practice I’ll need for certain spiritual circumstances that will come. If I’m not diligent in my studies, then I am sure to not fare so well in my exams. Where have I failed? How much insight might be gained by closely searching our failures to see which lessons we need to revisit? In my case… much. I never relish failure but if it’s bound to happen, I’d be unwise not to do what I can to at least try and getting something positive from them!
Obedience, patience, kindness, and all the many characteristics of God’s Nature will shape me… but it will take some practice. Do I have the discipline to joyfully jump into my homework or will I waste time wailing about how unfair it seems that God wants me to grow in spiritual nature and be all that He calls me to be? Peace, Sean Gutteridge
1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”