Where's the Scent?
"The Lord disciplines those he loves … for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1
Earl Nightingale told how on one National Secretaries Day he gave his secretary flowers and she remarked how beautiful they were. She also said that she couldn't understand why they didn't have any scent.
He informed her that the flowers came from a hothouse and explained that because flowers raised in this type of environment have everything done for them, they don't have to attract insects to pollinate them. As a result, they lose their scent. In the same way fruit raised in a hothouse, because it doesn't need to attract insects to scatter its seeds, doesn't taste as good as fruit grown in its natural environment.
It's similar to the child who wanted to help a butterfly out of its cocoon by putting a slit in it and, in so doing caused it to die. He didn't realize that the struggle to get out of the cocoon is needed to strengthen the butterfly's wings, which enables it to fly.
When people do too much for us or overprotect us, especially in our early developmental years, they can do serious harm to us. And even in adulthood the problems and difficulties we have are what strengthen us, build our character, and teach us wisdom, understanding, and compassion—if we let them. This is why God disciplines those whom He loves by allowing us to go through difficult times.
And let's be sure to keep this principle in mind when voting for political leaders, and never vote for any politician who likes to keep people over-dependent on him/her so they will continue to obtain their vote.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to yield to Your discipline and to see in all the struggles and problems of life that You are wanting me to (in the words of another): 'Dear God, grant that I might grow in faith and love and every grace / might more of Your salvation know / and seek more earnestly Your face.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:6, 10, 11 (NIV).
Brenda Clark Pike
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