Day Fifteen: Praise Challenge

helpmeacceptpruning

Congratulations! You are halfway through the Praise Challenge!  I hope you’ve found it to be as transforming as I have!!

Today, our challenge has to do with not wasting our sorrows.  Scripture tells us that, when God sees a life with potential, He takes His hand to that life.  Much like a farmer who sees a tree and knows that tree has years of fruit still left in it, he trims it back.  He prunes it.  He takes his sharp instruments and cuts it down to almost nothing.  This is not an act of cruelty, but one of wisdom.

God, when He wants to grow us, will do the same.  He will appoint and allow the sharp things of life to cut us, because the cutting makes room for more growth, more beauty. We cannot see it, anymore than the tree can, but the eyes of our Maker see the life within us that is aching for expansion.  He knows just how much room there is still left for us to grow.

In Don’t Waste Your Sorrows,  Paul E. Billheimer wrote this:

“It is God Who is the husbandman (the One Who trims and cares for the vines), not the devil.  Not understanding God’s benevolent purpose, when sorrow and suffering come – whether as the result of conflict over moral choices, pain and physical illness, or of disappointing circumstances – it is easy to fall into a spirit of resentment and self-pity which produces frustration and depression.  When this occurs, one has wasted her sorrows.  What God has permitted in order to wean us from self-love and self-worship, and appointed for our spiritual growth, has resulted in loss.”

I don’t know about you, but I would hate to endure all of my suffering and see no gain whatsoever come out of it.  I would hate for it to count for nothing.

Today, I challenge you to trust that everything which touches your life is directed somehow by the goodness of God’s hand, and that His intention in allowing it is that you would grow more fully into the person He sees in you.  Let the ugliness be cut away, that more love and more beauty may emerge, and you will be a greater blessing, both to God and to the people in your life!

Don’t waste your sorrows; celebrate them! Rejoice, knowing they are about to yield fruit in you that you may not even be aware is there! God is good, and He is worthy of our praise in the pruning process!


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