29 Mar Blessing from Pain
A tree is one of the most beautiful displays of God’s absolute sovereign brilliance. Here is a created entity that serves in so many roles in this world. A tree can bear fruit, provide a home for creatures, or fight erosion. Most importantly, a tree gives off life-giving oxygen.
We use these for shelter; we use them for shade. They are beautiful to observe. They display the power of God. Their roots dig deep and their trunks reach to the sky.
Several months ago, a gray haze rested over our city. Not too far away, a fire was overtaking an area in the North Carolina mountains. It was heartbreaking to imagine the view from my family’s house at Lake Lure being vastly altered. Instead of the rainbow of colors I usually see sitting on the dock, smoke, ash, and charred trees were now in view. It didn’t look beautiful. It felt devastating … unfortunate … sad.
Many times the effect of trials in our lives can be seen from miles away. The pain that God can allow the evil one to bring comes with smoke and ash and fire. It can hurt. It can bring devastation. There are charred remains.
“The pain that God can allow the evil one to bring comes with smoke and ash and fire. It can hurt.”
I read an article recently that explained that certain types of trees, specifically the pines that burned in those fires, called serotinous pines, actually need the fire to survive. Serotinous literally means late blooming or opening. Without the fire, the resin clings to the cones, and they do not open and do not release their seeds.
I am one of these trees. I hold on. I bask in the sun, cool wind, and rain. I rest in the shade of the other trees in the grove. But, without the fire, I do not let go of my seeds.
It is the burning pain of trial in our lives that help us to let go of the comforts we cling to and finally allow God to do His work in our lives. It is through being broken and reshaped that our hands become unglued and release more of Him into this world. God uses the heat to open our hands, for us to say “whatever you want for me—I am willing”. It is in this release that we grow and spread the love of the Lord to others. It is in the release of the seeds that the pines regenerate their forest. Without the fire, the grove is doomed to failure. These trees will simply stop producing seeds.
“It is the burning pain of trial in our lives that help us to let go of the comforts we cling to and finally allow God to do His work in our lives.”
Though you may not be asking for the pain, open your eyes to God’s goodness in it today. Open your eyes to see His love and provision in it. We are being made different through it, and because of it are being shaped to be used by Him. The pain is loving. He loves us.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Katherine is a dreamer who finds herself in the messy beautiful of everyday motherhood. Kisser of boo-boos, taxi driver, or even referee can all define her at any moment, but mostly she is just His. She can be found hanging with her hubby and kids, starting future unfinished projects, or just immersing herself in a good book. Katherine attends our Downtown campus.