Growth is a stinking business. Messy too.

Waiting for the connecting flight to Los Angeles in Taipei Int’l Airport was an experience I will never forget.  My mind was going through the events of the  past 24 hours.  A couple of folks dumped crap and chicken manure on me. I was stinking real bad. I was disturbed. Oh the pain was too much. Discomfort is not descriptive enough to express the turmoil inside of me.  I wanted to disappear to Neverland. Turmoil is defined as a state of upset and confusion. An example of turmoil is the feelings one has as if they need to quickly relocate to a new city.

As I write this, I’m reminded of a road trip years back from LA to Fresno. We were going to attend The Chosen Women’s Conference held in Bulldog Stadium. As we drove for miles cutting through the farmland the smell  of fertilizers permeated the air. It was overpowering. I saw that the earth was bare, freshly furrowed brown soil. I guess they planted seeds, watered them and now waiting for them to sprout.  If you’ve been to that area, their farms are so beautiful like poetry. Their irrigation system is magnificent like rainbow. When the water sprayed up over the crops, the reflections of the sunlight produced amazing colors.

At the time while I was in pain I didn’t go “yippee I’m growing”. I was making noise and kicking trash cans.   It was some years later in reflection that I saw how God used those who hated me to grow me. Maybe they just misunderstood me.  Whatever their intentions, God used them to grow me. It worked. Even their lies and concocted stories made me stronger because God and I knew the truth. Religiosity is often used to justify decrees to send you to hell.  It felt like hell.. It was lonely there. BUT God never left me. He was with me in the pain of betrayal searing through my heart that numbed and distorted my ability to think.  I asked, “God what do you want from me?”

God had other plans for me. He was growing me and He required stinking fertilizers – and lots of tears– something awful. It’s really interesting to reflect on how God works in your life.

As you grow and mature emotionally and spiritually you’ll find enemies in every corner.  Remember that adversity builds character and character will take you places money can’t. So don’t waste your pain.

The thing about Jesus, our Good Shepherd, our healer, is that he never uses the rod to strike his sheep. He strikes the enemy with it. He heals us and send us to play in the green pasture. You’re in good hands. Read Ezekiel 34.

Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning.  Joyous morning always follow the blackest night.

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