Unlimited: Suffering Comes Before Fruit

Oct 19, 2021 245

Unlimited: Suffering Comes Before Fruit

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned (Isaiah 9:2, NIV).

There is no escaping the shadows. Without the shadows there would be no beauty. You ask most parents about their greatest joy and their greatest sorrows, they usually respond with one word: kids.

The greatest illusion is to think you can have pleasure without pain. The birth of every child should teach us a lesson: suffering comes before fruit. In a sinful world that has sneered at the love of God, there is no escaping it.

Mountaineers reached the highest peaks and look out over the glories to be seen. I once asked a mountaineer, a few years before he was killed,

“Why do you do it? Isn’t it dangerous?”

He answered,

“Oh, if you could see the glory, if you could see the splendour looking out over the peaks, you would understand why we do it.”

Suffering comes before fruit.

But then think of the agony of getting up there, the pain, the difficulty breathing, the danger! It is an illusion and delusion to think you can have pleasure without pain.

It is wonderfully comforting to know that God is in control of the pain. He was there at the Cross. When the veil was rent his heart was torn. The blood of Christ was shed, and the heart of God felt the pain.  – Des Ford (adapted)

Reflection: Des Ford, who wrote this devotional, knew shadows and pain in his life. Yet I never heard him complain; instead he always shared with me words of grace and encouragement. I’m sure you have had shadows and pain in your own life. How does one come to have such a relationship with God?

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