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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Rejoice in Testing

Series: Flowers in the Desert

I Peter 1:6-7 ESV

Psalm 139:13-16 MSG

The desert four-wind saltbush is equipped to handle just about anything Mother Nature can throw it’s way.

Its taproot can reach 20 feet.

It prefers light sandy colored soil but it can survive in very poor soil.

It can tolerate acidic or alkaline soil.

The saltbush has a high tolerance for salt.

Under the right conditions it can live to nearly 100 years old.

In addition to that, if you’re stuck in the desert with nothing to eat…look for the four-wing saltbush. Every part of the plant is edible! The seeds can be ground into meal. Shoots that are young and tender can be used as greens.  Burned leaves can even be used as baking powder!

It’s a great plant that can withstand just about anything and no conditions seem to deter it.

Now it may seem like a bit of a stretch to some but those of us who raised (or know) a strong-willed child can see some similarities.

Some of us were “blessed” to have more than one strong-willed child.

When my children were young this was one of the verses I memorized to remind me even though there were various trials (daily trials), God would give me the strength I needed to thrive.

We are told in I Peter 1:6-7, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Those of us who raised more than one strong-willed child know that you have to ‘keep watch’ and be ever so mindful about where they are and what they are doing.

While I did have a helper (my daughter was the oldest) there were days when it was difficult for two of us to keep watch on three of them. They were very creative. There were days and years when we were tested.

Looking back the biggest blessing we had is that we did not have cell phones. We did have an antiquated computer in the home but we did not have continuous access to the internet. I cannot begin to imagine what that would be like for parents today monitoring cell phone time.

When the boys were young most of our trials were focused on a specific criteria:

Where are they?

What are they doing?

Do they have fireworks and matches?

If they are building something, what are they building?

Now mind you, they were not bad boys…they were just very creative.

The trial was based on what they were ‘trying’ to create.

Now, forty years later we smile about it and remember the good good times. We call them the “good ole’ days”.

Now we can see what God was creating IN them. We can see that God was growing their minds so they could be the men God called them to be. We see the miracles that God performed.

We also get a good chuckle seeing them interact with their children.

Once in a great while I see that same look in my grandson’s eyes that their dad had. I love that!

I love it because I know that God is working building block miracles in my grandson’s and granddaughter’s brains.

Psalm 139:13-16 from the Message tells us,

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;    you formed me in my mother’s womb.I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!    I worship in adoration—what a creation!You know me inside and out,    you know every bone in my body;You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,The days of my life all prepared    before I’d even lived one day.”

God perfectly created each of us in His marvelous image!

God knew exactly what He was doing inside out as He sculpted life from nothing into something marvelous!

God watched and watches us grow and prepares us to be the person we were intended to be.

Spiritual Practice: God’s workmanship

Be Grateful! Thank God for one thing (or one person) God created.

In God, Deborah


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