"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

1/10/11

Struggling Toward Perfection

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  Romans 8:18

It's been a few years since I used L. B. Cowman's Streams in the Desert as my daily devotional. But I'm back to it again in 2011. If you have never used this incredible resource, I can't recommend it more highly. Each daily reading gets me thinking and blesses me. And yesterday's was no exception.

January 9's reading was about God's workings in us to make us more like Him. Mostly, the fact that it isn't an easy road. She shares the story of an emperor moth's cocoon (click here to read the whole thing) and the animals need to fight its way out to develop the strength to survive.

Photo by Samlevan at sxcv,hu
Sometimes, I wish God would just give me the strength, fortitude, peace,and patience I need to surmount any obstacle. But that's not the way it works. We become stronger Christians by struggling. We grow closer to the Lord by needing Him. We develop compassion for others by suffering and needing compassion ourselves.

The seven-plus years of my husband's health struggles aren't anything I would wish on anyone. They were, and are, hard. We wondered more than once if it was all worth it, if we could handle one more turn in the road. But I have no doubt we are closer to, and more like, our Lord and Savior than we were before it all started. Just like the moth fighting to get out of that cocoon, we are struggling toward perfection--toward becoming the children of God our Father wants us to be.

And that's all that should matter.

Heavenly Father, it is so easy to want the easy way out--to try to avoid suffering, trials, and temptations--but that is not the way You work. Our strength comes in our trials, and it is only through them that we become more like You. Help us to see our struggles from Your perspective--to use them as opportunities to grow more into Your image. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

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6 comments:

  1. It's so true. And so hard. I get teased a lot because I try and say what you said but I can't find the right words - I just say "God loves us, but there is a reason for suffering" which sounds contradictory and mean.

    Well said.

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  2. Growing up is a process, for sure, and it all happens as we meet each bump in the road. Praying for you and Marc's days to be full of joy and good health as you continue on the journey. And when you struggle, you know you have lots of friends who lift you up to God and who will encourage you always.

    Love you, Jo. Praying for you today. Thanks for the big influence you have in my life, too, always pointing up.

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  3. Great and needed post Joanne! I agree with Joanne that I too have wanted to share this with others who cant seem to get beyond their circumstances but could not word it as well as you did!!
    Love your new blog look too!!

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  4. May we endure the struggle. Enjoy this read. Blessings to you Joanne.

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  5. I love that example and it always makes me think. I think many times we want to help others in some way, but if we do, we can end up being more hurt than help.

    The story of the moth always make me stop whining too. LoL. I don't want to be spiritual wimp, nor spiritually crippled.

    Thanks JoDear. I needed the reminder today. (hehe. I've been whining recently.)
    Love you!

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  6. You're right... in perfect keeping with my thoughts today and BEAUTIFULLY SAID! Your story is so unique, Joanne, and yet most of us can relate to at some level. Suffering is suffering, regardless of the particulars. I don't know why some seem to get more, some less, but all of us are moving onto our perfection in Christ Jesus, and the perspective birthed through our pain gives us rich insight into Christ's road of suffering.

    Love you. Keep to it.

    peace~elaine

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