by A.C. Williams
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom. Isaiah 28:29 NLT
Did you know that when a cake recipe calls for freshly brewed coffee, you’re supposed to let the coffee cool before you add it to your cake mix? Yeah, nobody told me that.
My cake batter turned into soup the instant I poured hot coffee in it. I was mortified, because I had been making it for a professional chef who was staying at my house. I asked for her help, and—well—the cake was beyond saving. Even for her.
Recently, I discovered a parable of sorts in the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:23-29). The passage talks about how a farmer knows how to harvest specific seeds in specific ways. Not all seeds are harvested with the same techniques. And it’s a good thing the farmer knows that, because it would be a waste if he crushes a seed beyond usefulness.
The farmer knows all this because God taught him. See, God knows how to do stuff. Everything, in fact. So why do so few of us ask for His help? Or if we ask, why do we ignore His instructions when He answers?
Can I get really honest? I don’t like it when God interferes in my life. He directs me to change things that I don’t want to change. He tells me to do things I don’t want to do.
Do it His way. Follow His rules. Obey His Word.
What about my way and my rules and my word? Don’t you ever just wish He’d leave us alone and let us do life the way we want?
Do we even know what we’re asking for?
What would happen if God left the room? If He chose to not be here anymore? Imagine the horror of that. No one on earth has ever experienced life without God’s presence around us in some way.
Without God’s interference in our lives, the world would crush us (Proverbs 2:7-11). The power of darkness and the influence of the enemy would utterly destroy us—or would lead us to destroy each other. When sin entered the world, when we broke the world God gave us to steward, it would have crushed the life out of us but for God’s hand of protection (Psalm 138:7).
What we view as Him being overly strict or too harsh is His Divine protection (Hebrews 12:6). We are saved by faith alone, but if we choose a lifestyle of right-living, He can keep us from letting the enemy gain a foothold in our hearts.
He disciplines us, yes. He lets us suffer, true. But He doesn’t destroy us. He doesn’t break us. He doesn’t crush us (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). How else is He supposed to get our attention when we are so dead set on doing our own thing?
But what about those who haven’t faltered or wandered from the Way? Why does He let them suffer too?
Have you ever tried to look beyond your suffering? If it’s new, don’t expect this of yourself (Ecclesiastes 3:4), but if you’ve been languishing in your sorrow for a long time, stop. Look up. Jesus suffered more than anyone in history, and He chose it because He could see us. He knew there would be joy on the other side (Hebrews 12:2), so He endured. We can too.
It hurts. It’s a hard truth. But God’s discipline is mercy (Lamentations 3:31-33). Otherwise, He would leave us to the world to be pulverized. God’s interference is the only thing that can help us. Don’t despise it. Embrace it. Be grateful for it.
When God allows you to suffer, rejoice. It means you’re not beyond saving.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA)
About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. An AWSA Golden Scrolls finalist and an editor at Uncommon Universes Press, she believes that God works miracles through stories. Learn more about her coaching services at www.amycwilliams.com and subscribe to her daily devotional emails at www.alwayspeachy.com. Amy is offering a special: the first seven days free, then $5/month. https://acwilliams.substack.com/arisedaily
Join the conversation. How could you embrace suffering?