Friday, December 7, 2007
Thorny Issues (Part of the He Said - She Said Series)
Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them… As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful." Matthew 13:7 & 22
(The He Said- She Said Series can be found at the Christian Devotions web site)
There are things this world chooses to hoard, thoughts and reasoning that simply cannot be understood. The whys of issues – why does this happen or why does that happen. When I can’t find the understanding for the mishaps of life, I become frustrated and angry. For example, why is it, the harder I try to do what the Father asks, the harder Satan attacks me? Why is that?
I understand that God never promised us an easy path but what about the efforts we make along the way? Doesn’t that count for something? There are times when temptation is almost more than I can bear. The little things gnaw and pick at me and like a mosquito bite constantly itching. The more I scratch the worse it itches. For every good thing I manage it’s like three bad things erupt and sometimes, the work I’ve done gets torn to shreds. Why is that?
It goes back to a parable – the one where the sower is tossing seeds everywhere. Some seeds find good soil, some find rocks, or the pathway, others find good soil but they’re overtaken by thorns that are already planted firmly. For those works that fall into the thicket and grow I find there must be a two-fold reason for their taking roots and sprouting. The first being that glimmer of hope much of the world misses. Even in the pain and frustration of the thorns, the Father springs to life a single flower of hope. It may only last a short time, but it’s there to offer hope. The second being, a short-lived usefulness, one that sprouts in the middle of chaos, rises slightly above the thicket to set an example. It may soon meet its demise, but the fact is God used it temporarily. At least that’s how God tries to explain it to me.
The Father constantly reminds me that the work I do is never fruitless. I may not see the benefits but then, it may not be for me to see. The whys of the world remain the worlds’, and I still never come into the understanding of what happened to the efforts I’d worked toward. Instead, I feel a little hurt – even cheated, that they’ve been choked out. Perhaps a little selfish in thinking that the fruits were mine to begin with – a bit cocky, don’t you think?
Still the whole ordeal is a learning process. The issue is whether I’m willing to learn or if I insist on continually questioning the “how comes.” When I trust, all my efforts are just that --“efforts.” God can use those where ever and however He’s sees fit. Suddenly the why’s of the world don’t matter anymore. It’s that “everything works for the good” part. God takes the efforts, even when they’ve fallen into unsustainable ground, and causes them to flourish for a short time. Are they able to remain strong and fit for duty – probably not, they’re growing among the thorns, but the Father turns them into a good that suits His will.
Ultimately, it’s not for me to question the whys of the world, rather it is my task to plant the seeds, to work and produce what God can cultivate and use to His good. I’d be lying to say that it doesn’t bother me a bit. It does bother me, especially when I see a project take root, flourish, then suddenly wither and die on the vine. However, it’s not about me, now is it? It’s all about the Father and his righteous plan. And the sooner I learn that, the greater my reward. I’m human and I’m tempted and tried daily.
It’s not fair nor is it right - especially when I am able to call myself Christian. The fact remains, what has fallen and taken root can be used to the glory of the Father. So from the madness of the world, comes goodness. From the trials and temptations I face come strength and wisdom. It doesn’t pay for me to try and dig the flowering plants from among the thorns and hope they’ll thrive if transplanted. All I manage to get from the deal is scratched up. They have fallen and taken root in the soreness of life. Now God will use them to His glory and the work was worth the effort.