(Dan. 2:21 NKJV)
This time of year, the heat and humidity of the summer season is, hopefully, becoming a welcomed memory and cool breezes and the beauty of the reds, golds, and oranges of fall begin to emerge. Don’t we all love it when the seasons change?
But what about our lives? Do we accept the seasons of spiritual change prompted by the circumstances in our lives? Do we see any beauty emerge from the myriad trials and afflictions that assault us? If “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1 NIV), how do we view the changes?
Where can the most beautiful vistas be viewed? From atop the summit of the tallest mountain, after the most strenuous climb.
Which valleys have the richest, green velvet pastures with the fullest spikes of wildflower colors? Those that have withstood the greatest drenching rains.
What forests produce the most prolific new growth? Those that have suffered the hot, searing flames of destruction.
Which diamonds sparkle the most brilliantly? Those that have felt the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel.
An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
Just as all of nature suffers contrary conditions in order to be expanded, improved, or strengthened, so, too, do we. Difficulties and trials will always be a part of our lives. We cannot separate ourselves from them. And if we ponder it closely, we realize we will not grow as Christians if trials do not come to test and enlarge us that our greater beauty might emerge.
If we try to wiggle out of these times, we force premature deliverance, frustrating God’s plan. It is like prying open a cocoon before the caterpillar has finished its metamorphosis into a butterfly. Forcing open the cocoon too soon will render the caterpillar deformed for the rest of its short lifespan.
When we manipulate the hands of the clock to align with our own agenda, we destroy the beauty that God desires to emerge from His timing. Through our own efforts to “help” God out with our deliverance, do we come out of our cocoon of circumstance too early and spiritually deformed in some way? Or do we wait for the revealed transformation by God’s hand?
Is our cocoon of circumstance not intended, as for the butterfly, to deepen our richest colors and give us wings of flight, beautifying our character for a new season in life, all which we may not have had before the trial? While in that cocoon of circumstance, we “are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV)
God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us. As Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18 NKJV)
God will work out all our circumstances for our benefit, from one spiritual season to the next, when we fully commit them and ourselves to Him, His Word, and His timing.
After experiencing a cocoon of contrary circumstance, are you able to say as David, “My troubles turned out all for the best”? (Ps. 119:71 Msg)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Rom. 8:28 NLT)
From one season to the next…“being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV)