This is a picture of our grandson Jake when he first started eating solid food. He’s about to get a bite of peas.
He quickly learned that he doesn’t like peas!
However, he opened his mouth again! He trusted the person feeding him. He knew we loved him, and we would never ever hurt him.
Today, Jake is four. If I were to put peas on his plate for dinner, the conversation would probably go something like this:
Jake: Yaya, I don’t want peas.
Yaya (me): Jake, you have to eat them, they are good for you.
Jake: No, I don’t like them.
Yaya: Don’t you want to grow up to be big and strong like your daddy?
Jake: Yes, but I can do that if I eat cookies!
Yaya: No you can’t Jake, you need your peas.
Jake: Yaya, I’m not hungry!
We give our children healthy food, even if they only want candy, because we know that candy won’t produce a strong, healthy body.
We are a lot like Jake when it comes to eating our ‘spiritual peas’. What are spiritual peas? That would be the hard things in life that the Lord puts on our plate. I don’t have to imagine what that conversation would sound like, I’ve had it…
God: Marcia, you have to go through this difficult thing.
Marcia: God, I don’t want to.
God: You have to, it is good for you.
Marcia: No. I don’t like this.
God: Don’t you want to grow up to be like Jesus?
Marcia: Yes, but I can do that without having to endure this.|
God: No, you can’t, Marcia, you need to walk this path.
Marcia: God, I’m ok where I am.
God knows the future. He knows what I need to experience now in order to be prepared for what the future holds. He knows where I will need to be strong. He knows where the Evil One is going to come against me. He knows where I need to grow. Therefore, God very carefully prepares my plate with just the right amount of peas.
Romans 5:3-5 because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame…”
God will not overload me with suffering. I know that there will also be sweet desserts – times of celebration and rejoicing. And, there will be some really nice steaks because he knows how much I love to study the meat of doctrine.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Just as Jake’s peas produce a healthy body, so our suffering produces a healthy spirit: a spirit that hopes, even when things appear hopeless.
What difficult thing has God put on your plate? Do you believe that He has your best interest at heart, because he knows what you will need in the future?