Do I really have to get out and see the vet? He’s very nice but he examines my teeth and ears, squirts nasty stuff up my nose and may even stick a needle in me!
From her perspective, a trip to the vet is not a happy experience for our dog. Does this make the vet a bad person for doing his job, or me a cruel villain for taking her? Should she report us both to the USPCA?
Of course not, for the vaccinations, unpleasant as they seem, will help her keep strong and healthy.
Is our Heavenly Father cruel to bring His children to difficult times? Sometimes it can feel that way. But with almost irritating cheerfulness the New Testament writer encourages us to:
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.’ (James 1 v2)
And the Gospels tell us that the Spirit led Jesus Himself into a forty day and night period of severe testing in the wilderness, where Satan was allowed to tempt Him. It was genuinely tough. He was hungry, thirsty, alone and vulnerable. Yet after enduring all, and successfully repelling the Devil with scripture, we’re told God’s Son returned ‘in the power of the Spirit’ to commence three years of profound ministry and save the world by His death and resurrection!
So let’s try and not grumble too much when the going gets tough, but trust our Father in Heaven still loves us and will help bring us through. In fact He can use even the painful, unpleasant experiences to help us mature and become more fruitful in our faith!
Pop artist Kelly Clarkson sings, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ I’m not sure my dog would agree but the New Testament Apostle would! We’ll give him the last word:
‘Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.’ (James 1 v 12)