By Elizabeth Prata
I had been going through some things I had deemed little. People around me are going through great trials, loss of parent, illness of child, uncertainty about immediate future put at risk … whereas the things that have tried me lately have been such things as car breakdown leaving me by the side of the road which happens often, spending hours and days with customer service in getting my upgraded phone, my rapid hair loss and concern it was a terrible disease. I often think, ‘well those aren’t really BIG issues, I must be a terrible person for caving in to them’. I sought the Lord through them when they occurred but I deemed these daily life aggravations, not trials and not chastenings. Was I missing out? I wondered if or when the Lord would chastise me as Hebrews 12:11 says. or if I was even growing. But today’s devotional helped me. It may encourage you as well:
God’s Love in Little Chastenings
Frances Ridley Havergal
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous… (HEBREWS 12:11 KJV)
(For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; NASB)
There are some promises that we are apt to reserve for great occasions, and thus lose the continual comfort of them. Perhaps we read this one with a sigh and say, "How beautiful this is for those whom the Lord is really chastening! I almost think I should not mind that if such a promise might then be mine. But the things that try me are only little things that turn up every day to trouble and depress me." Well, now, does the Lord specify what degree of trouble, or what kind of trouble, is great enough to make up a claim to the promise? And if He does not, why should you? He only defines it as "not joyous, but grievous."
Perhaps there have been a dozen different things today that were not joyous, but grievous to you. And though you feel ashamed of feeling them so much, and hardly like to admit their having been so trying, and would not think of dignifying them as chastening, yet, if they come under the Lord’s definition, He not only knows all about them, but they were, every one of them, chastenings from His hand—neither to be despised and called “just nothing” when all the while they did grieve you, nor to be wearied of, because they are working out blessing to you and glory to Him. Every one of them has been an unrecognized token of His love and interest in you, for “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”
What shall Thine afterward be, O Lord?
I wonder, and wait to see
While to Thy chastening now I bow
What peaceable fruit may be ripening now,
Ripening fast for Thee!
by FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL, Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another