Imagine going to a nice restaurant for dinner. The table is set with linens, fine china, and crystal glasses. The waiter delivers your plate with a flourish. In the middle of that exquisite plate is a single marshmallow. What a letdown! Instead of receiving a nutritious, meaty meal, we are left with a puff of sugar and no satisfaction.
If we become lax, our lives can resemble that disappointing meal. Instead of being believers with a weighty message full of hope, we can find ourselves with nothing to offer but a bit of fluffy sweetness. God’s message is meant to nourish and sustain; our family, our friends, and even we ourselves cannot be satisfied by meager provisions. Our Father wants us to have such impact that people will never be the same after we arrive.
If the Lord is building a valuable message into our lives, we must receive everything that comes our way as from Him. When a bad event passes through God’s permissive will to affect us, He will bring good from it. (See Rom. 8:28.) Truthfully, a person can share a message of hope more effectively if he or she has first suffered. When we are hurting, we seek comfort from people who have faced similar hurt. Likewise, others will trust our comfort if we have known pain.
Whatever the circumstances, we should be evaluating what God is doing in us. Like a gem polisher, He will work off our rough edges by running us up against tough experiences and people. When we look for His purposes and lessons, we hasten the time when our life message reflects the hope that is available in Christ Jesus.