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Joyous Pain

 I stole that title from a poem my son wrote.  It’s the inspiration for this week’s Tea Time Devotion, so let me share it with you.

A Seed Planted to Die to Grow

Let it spring forth
Like roots of the ancient tree
I’ll be the seed broken

Dying to itself
To reveal hidden beauty
My veins will split open

Spilling vines onto the page
I pray through the fruit
Of my joyous pain

A mystery may be conveyed
That we all are broken
Dying little seeds

Springing forth roots
Of the One
Ancient tree

Seeds that are planted grow and bear fruit. We love to taste fresh fruit, but the hidden broken, dying, rooting part is not appreciated as much. Fruit cannot be enjoyed unless seeds are buried and broken. There is no other way.

Job, the oldest book in the Bible, asks this question: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble (Job 2:10)?” Can you really accept God’s goodness if you are not aware of how much it is undeserved? Can you experience so much trouble that you become oblivious to God’s goodness? God’s good gifts and His allowance of trouble are a part of our spiritual growth.  

Jesus told His followers to see the blessings of being poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, lack of and longing for righteousness, and persecution as well as mercy, purity and peace (Matthew 5).  If you are growing as a Christian, you will have trouble and you will have undeserved blessings. Both are gifts from God. Joyous pain is about learning to accept the life you are asked to live with joy.  All of life will be a joyous pain.  

When we focus on our pain alone and ignore God’s goodness, we are miserable. We are taken down by our pain. We lose hope and ultimately lose the will to live well and even face suicidal thoughts. When our joy forces out our attraction to God and dependence on Him, our joy has ended up impoverishing our souls.

Poverty and prosperity have the same lesson for the soul.  God is enough.  God is enough in our poverty and God is more than our prosperity.

In the day ahead discover your own moments of joyous pain and discover your soul connecting deeper to God’s goodness. Find out for yourself what joyous pain does for your soul.


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