Do you wonder why God has to make it so hard on you? Why doesn’t He
make you good without making you miserable in the meantime? Of course He
could, but He does not choose to do so.
He wants you to grow a little at a time and not burst into
instant maturity. This is what He has decided, and you can only adore
His wisdom—even when you don’t understand it.
I am awed by what suffering can produce. You and I are
nothing without the cross. I agonize and cry when the cross is working
within me, but when it is over I look back in admiration for what God
Of course I am then ashamed that I bore it so poorly. I have learned so much from my foolish reactions!
You yourself must endure the painful process of change.
There is much more at work here than your instant maturity. God wants to
build a relationship with you that is based on faith and trust and not
on glamorous miracles.
Father Knows Best
God uses the disappointments, disillusionments, and
failures of your life to take your trust away from yourself and help you
put your trust in Him. It is like being burned in a slow fire.
You would rather be burned up in a blaze of glory,
wouldn’t you? But how would this fast burn detach you from yourself?
Thus God prepares events to detach you from yourself and from others.
God is your Father; do you think He would ever hurt you?
He just cuts you off from things you love in the wrong way. You cry like
a baby when God removes something or someone from your life, but you
would cry a lot more if you saw the eternal harm such wrong attachments
You do not see with the eyes of eternity. God knows everything. Nothing happens without His consent.
You are upset by small losses but do not see eternal
gains! Don’t dwell on your suffering. Your oversensitivity makes your
trials worse. Abandon yourself to God.
Everything in you that is not already a part of the
established kingdom of God needs the cross. When you accept the cross in
love, His kingdom begins to come to life within you. You must bear the
cross and be satisfied with what pleases God.
You have need of the cross! The faithful Giver of every
good gift gives the cross to you with His own hand. I pray you will come
to see how blessed it is to be corrected for your own good.
My God, help us to see Jesus as our model in all
suffering. You nailed Him to the cross for us. You made Him a man of
sorrows to teach us how useful sorrow is. Give us a heart to turn our
backs on ourselves and trust only in You.
Francois de Fenelon, better known simply as “Fenelon,”
became the Archbishop of Cambrai, France, in the late 1600s. Because of
his support of Jeanne Guyon, whom King Louis XIV had condemned, he was
banished to his own diocese. However, his correspondence on the subject
of a deeper walk with Christ still influences us today. Adapted from The
Seeking Heart by Fenelon, copyright 1992. Published by The SeedSowers.
Used by permission.