Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2
After I get home from work today there's a major job waiting for me.
That job has been in my wife's "honey-do" jar for a long time, and I haven't been overly eager to get to it.
It seems she went to a rummage sale and bought a beautiful, antique, maple desk. The only problem with the desk is that a previous owner slapped a bunch of bright yellow paint all over it. Bright enamel yellow, Pam informs me, doesn't go well with our house decor.
Because that is so, it is now my unpleasant duty to dig through the paint and get down to the good wood that lies underneath.
That seems to be what the Lord does with people.
When our lives are colored with the sin that "doesn't go well" with the faith we have been given in the crucified and risen Redeemer, He often begins to restore us.
It can be a tough job -- tough for the person being transformed and tough for the Lord. We know nobody likes to have trials come into his or her life. And, contrary to popular opinion, it is not pleasant for a father -- even a Heavenly Father -- to discipline His children.
Nobody likes to be rubbed raw.
Nevertheless, that's sometimes what is necessary to get down to the good wood the Lord knows is underneath.
Now, if this is what's happening to you, you can be sure the Lord is letting trials come because He's getting down to the good wood that He has put there.
It's a lesson I'll keep in mind when I start working on that desk tonight.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, if we have trials and crosses, help us to see those things come so you may bring us into harmony with You. Let us pray as our Savior prayed, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries