The strongest oaks grow where the wind blows the hardest. As followers of Christ, we are refined by adversity. A few words come to mind that might describe a “world-class-leader”…..Faithfulness, Loyalty, Commitment, Ability, Servitude, Steadfastness, Agilility, and Consequences. Do you possess any of these?
I’ve said it before… I function BEST under ADVERSITY. It keeps my “innards” in TUNE with my “out’ards.” God did not put us on this earth to enjoy an “a clean sweep,” a fun ride, or a pain-free adventure. We are here, first, to ADORE Him. Whether or not it’s fun, pain-free, and joyful…well…that’s up to us. God has given us all, certain “special” GIFTS with which we can function. He gave us “free-will” as evidenced by Adam and Eve. We are told in Romans 12:6-7 – Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;…
Think about it this way. Some years ago, I read where a couple “never allowed” their son to consume sweets, candy, soft drinks, or other items of a “sugary nature.” He grew up STONG, SMART, very HEALTHY, and he achieved many sport accolades. They made a “choice” to protect him from the slippery slope that most of us seem to be “stuck” with. His parents made a “free-will” decision… not to permit him to “eat the forbidden fruit” (sort of speaking). This young man’s body NEVER knew the “consequences” of indulging in “sweets.”
We can, if we choose, be FREE of the burdens of “all kinds of” THINGS (sins of the flesh – worldly addictions) that are HARMFUL to us. Just about any medical journal CAUCTIONS us against engaging in certain eating habits that are not good for us… in the long term.
In the “real-world,” we have another type of instruction book that guides us along “certain routes” as we navigates life’s journey. This book…is the Holy Bible. By God’s blessings, I knew the Bible pretty well, but NEVER owned one, until age 50. W-O-W…. what an “eye-opener.” THE BOOK has instructions available to us (all), that covers “every single” conceivable issue that one might encounter.
The Bible is the foundation for preparing us to become the “strongest oak.” The Bible will prepare us for any type of ADVERSITY… any worldly issue… and any SPIRITUAL issue. I’ve just finished reading the Bible for the 4th time, and now starting again, but focusing on the New Testament. Every time I read it, I DISCOVER another “instruction” that I either forgot about, or allowed “it” to slide by UN-NOTICED. It wasn’t until I turned 72 (3 years ago) that I realized how Matthew 28:19-20 applied to me: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
If you want to enjoy the “opportunity of a life-time,”… then find you a Bible, and Start a conversation with God. 2nd Timothy 3:15-17 tells us… And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Try it… and you’ll like it……. Blessings…cjlb…6/4/15.
Photo Credit: cjlb