I Beg Your Pardon
I love when old songs on the radio take me back. Recently I was reminded of when I was a little girl I would fight with my older brother over the "45" record we had by Lynn Anderson, "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden". Good thing he does not read this because he would be embarrassed I am sure! I remember a 45 cost 79 cents at Woolco. I only got 50 cents a payday so I had to save up! I would hold that hair brush and sing into it, "I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine There's gotta be a little rain some time." The words go on to say, "I could promise you things like big diamond rings
But you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover!"
Most of the time, as adults, we do not feel this way but if we are honest, I think we can all agree, that at some point in our life, even for just a moment, we have thought this is not what I bargained for. In our marriage, with our jobs, relationships, even as a parent. That is why we hear people laugh and say, if I would have known this I would have just had pets. Life can be like that sometimes, even in the best work environments, the best marriages and the best families.
Paul says in Romans 5: 3-5, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." We are to rejoice in our physical suffering, emotional suffering and spiritual suffering. Paul even calls us to boast in ALL our sufferings. That includes being sick, a broken relationship, debt, losing a loved one, losing a job and the list goes on. We are to boast in the suffering because it may result in us growing in our relationship with God. Through it we learn to trust and that builds faith. It is in the times of self examination we realize our weakness. These are the times that we need to lean on God.
Suffering is a part of life for all. No one is exempt from suffering. Often times on television or social media it will look like someone else's life is perfect but it is not. Suffering is a part of everyone's life. God would not let someone miss out on the chance of turning to him in a time of need! Think back to when you grew the most, spiritually. Mine was during a time of suffering, weakness, hopelessness, hurt and being overwhelmed by outside circumstances.
God promised us that following Him will be costly. He has even told us that following Him will make us hated by some people. Matthew 10: 22, "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." He has told us if we want to be His disciples we have to deny ourselves. Luke 9: 23, "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
Thankfully, the story does not stop there. God also promises the strength for our journey. We can count on Him. Psalm 42: 11, "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." He promises us an abundant life. John 10: 10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." He even tells us that whatever riches we voluntarily forgo on earth, we will receive back in Heaven! Matthew 6: 20, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." And one of my favorites is John 16: 33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The things that are so huge in this world right now will not be a thought when we are with God. Our suffering is not a split second in comparison to eternity with our Lord and Savior!
"The pain of yesterday is the strength of today." Paulo Coelho