I’m cruising down 400-S listening to my favorite CD lost in a train of thought when out of the corner of my eye I spot a tiny plant peering at me out of the side of a 12″ concrete wall. I could have sworn he winked at me. The little plant tickled my fancy all the way home. As I pulled into the garage it finally dawned on me why I fixated so on the little guy. I know just how he feels.
Hidden as a tiny seed behind that concrete wall in complete darkness the little plant grew, germinating and rooting himself following his instincts. All the while sensing light beyond the massive barrier he continued to press in through or around every obstacle. With unrelenting determination he continued penetration. Why? Because he knew that he needed the light in order to live.
Trouble, trials and tribulation ride into our lives unexpectedly on the great black horse of adversity. I’ve certainly faced my share. As we toil painfully (Gen. 3:17-19 below) through it, we realize that adversity is part and parcel of living in a fallen world since creation no longer works in unison or automatically in our favor. Affliction, hardship, pain and suffering are appointed to all (Mark 9:49 below). Through these circumstances God teaches and strengthens us, although sometimes quite painfully.
Although adversity can serve to strengthen us, honestly, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The only exception that would qualify as “worth it” would be suffering through adversity in order to be conformed to the image of Christ. As far as I’m concerned if that’s not the purpose, forget it. It’s just not worth it.
Fighting unbelievable adversity just as we do the little plant pushed though the concrete wall to reach the light so that he could live. He now perches overlooking a major thoroughfare and breathing toxic fumes, nevertheless, basking and thriving in the light!
We tend to view adversity as our enemy. However, this little plant illustrates for us that in God’s economy, adversity can actually be our friend.
Can you relate at all to the little plant?
What type of adversity are you facing?
What types have you come through?
What did you learn from them?
Can you imagine from now on each instance of adversity you face as a doorway that once you pass through leads you to experience more of the light?
Something to think about.
My personal testimony of struggling out of the bondage of guilt, shame and condemnation and breaking in to a life of freedom can be found at myjourneythroughthecross.com or at Amazon books.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Mark 9:49Everyone will be salted with fire.