Slipped Treasures

SCRIPTURE

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34: 19)

OBSERVATION

It would have been much better, in my estimation anyway, if that verse read: ‘‘ The righteous will have zero afflictions; they will each be given a ‘Smooth Riding’ guarantee.’’ But it doesn’t. David wrote this psalm, and his life was not a leisure ride— it was replete with challenges and scored by struggles. Yet his life emerges as the quintessence of Israel’s best.

APPLICATION

It says, ‘‘ Many are the afflictions of the righteous.’’ Does that mean the reward of trying our best will be pain? Why would God want us to experience afflictions in the first place? When I reflect back on my life, I realize the times I grew the most came wrapped in ‘‘ struggle paper.’’ You see, the greatest gems are not found on mountaintops. They tumble to the valley floor. They are not always new treasures, but maybe slipped treasures that have long been missing in my life. An appreciation misplaced. A love that’s been absent. A commitment that’s been lost. A vision that’s strayed. A heart mislaid. And when they’re restored, I am delivered from the consequences of living without them. Afflictions are not fun. For many years I preferred fun to growth. Now I must make a choice: Do I need more fun, or do I need more growth? I’ve decided I need to grow . . . but with just a little fun thrown in.

PRAYER

Father, I’m always stirred by Your Word and how it speaks more clearly to me than this morning’s newspaper. I will renew the values of my heart today. Thank You for giving me a future and a hope.

Divine Mentor

 

This post is an adapted from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, The Divine Mentor. Check back here all this week for in-depth discussion of how Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer work together as we seek God in our individual quiet time.