The Bigger Picture

This morning, like most other mornings, it was another battle to get the kids out the door to school. You’d think after all this time they would stop fighting it, but just about every day someone is refusing to go and demanding to stay home.
Sometimes one of them will defiantly proclaim that they are NOT going to school! Funny thing is, no matter how adamantly they protest, mom and dad don’t bend and give in. Why? Because we are more interested in their growth than we are in their comfort. We’d rather see them gain an education than watch them sit around and watch Netflix or play their beloved video games.

Christians are often guilty of this type of behavior when we are faced with various trials. None of us wants to endure difficulty. Nobody enjoys hardship. Some even defiantly stand in the face of trial or trouble and protest that their position in Christ demands that they are free from all adversity. Surely God would never see them suffer.
Often we don’t see things the way God does. He’s looking at the bigger picture. God is much more interested in our growth and maturity than he is in our comfort. He’s more interested in others seeing Christ in us than his ability to provide constant goodies. He’s more interested in his glory being revealed in us than seeing us perpetually entertained. He’s more interested in teaching us to rely on his strength than he is in our childish, selfish desire to have an easy, trouble free life.

Hebrews 10:7-11 gives us some insight on what God is doing in those moments of difficulty. The last verse contains the key to looking at the bigger picture.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
1 Peter 1:6,7 reveals more of God’s purpose behind suffering. “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

No matter how much my son may beg to stay home, or even if he declares with confident authority in his voice that he shouldn’t have to go to school, his dad loves him enough to do what’s best.
Has God been taking you to school? If you’ve sincerely prayed about it and there’s no breakthrough, perhaps there’s something bigger going on. Maybe it’s time to stop kicking and fighting all the way and look at the bigger picture. Your Father knows what he’s doing. Trust Him.