December: Trials and Pain
The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary for
God to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in His holy work of
preparing a saint for true sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can
bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.
The Root of the Righteous, 157.
Trials and Pain: The Sharp Blade of the Plow
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your
fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes
and rains righteousness on you.
The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of
the plow and the agitation of the harrow.... But it is paying
a terrible price for its tranquility: Never does it see the
miracle of growth; never does it feel the motions of mounting
life nor see the wonders of bursting seed nor the beauty of
ripening grain. Fruit it can never know because it is afraid of
the plow and the harrow.
In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded
itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has
opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always
come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has
been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of
machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been
upset, turned over, bruised and broken, but its rewards come
hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its
miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it. All
over the field the hand of God is at work in the age-old and
ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow,
mature, and consummate the grand prophecy latent in the seed
when it entered the ground. Nature's wonders follow the plow.
Paths to Power, 31-32.
"Lord, make me a cultivated field. I suspect the price will be
high, but I long to bear fruit for Your glory. Do the hard work
of the farmer in my life today. Amen."