All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. –HEBREWS 12:11
The race that you and I run is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The Christian life is a long distance race, and it is not for the faint of heart. Like any marathon, it involves some pain. The hands get heavy. The knees get weak. The lungs fight for air and the heart pumps harder to supply the straining muscles. And the pain itself is reason to be thankful!
Samuel Rutherford said it this way: “God, I thank you for the hammer. I thank you for the file. I thank you for the fire.” How could he say this? Because Rutherford knew that the hammer was in the hands of the Carpenter, and the Carpenter takes that hammer and drives the nail in place, so that it can fulfill the purpose for which it was made.
Is life beating you on the head? Throwing you around? The good news for those in Christ is that any blows you experience are being administered by the hand of the Carpenter. What about the file? The file smooths the rough edges of a piece, using just the right amount of pressure for a perfect finish. And the fire? It burns off dross, or waste, so that what is left is pure and strong. All of this discomfort is shaping and molding you and me for the purpose for which God made us…and I can think of nothing more tragic than to miss the purpose for which we were created.