Jack-O'-Lantern

October 30, 2007
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Philippians 1:6 – There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (MSG)

As I was thinking about making a jack-o'-lantern, I realized that the poor pumpkin has to go through some pain in order to become a jack-o'-lantern. Yes, I know the pumpkin can't feel anything. Imagine with me, though, for a few minutes, what it would be feeling, it if could.

I took the sharp knife and cut the top off. Can you imagine the pain? This was a crisis situation for the pumpkin. Then I scraped the seeds out — oh, scraping is painful, as well as being another crisis. Then I cut eyes, and nose, and mouth to make a smiling face. That would have hurt too. From the pumpkin's perspective, crises were piling up and piling up. How the pumpkin would have been wailing and sobbing and crying in pain! Imagine how he must have felt — like he just couldn't bear any more. If he could talk, he probably would have pleaded for me to stop. But I just kept on cutting and shaping and moulding the pumpkin to what I wanted. I did care about the pain he was in, but I also had a purpose in mind when I started. The pumpkin was just a pumpkin and had no idea what his purpose in life was. In the end, I stood back and was pleased with the smiling jack-o'-lantern.

Job 23:10 – But he knows what I am doing, and when he tests me, I will be pure as gold. (CEV)

We go through pain in our lives as well. Often, we face one crisis after another. Sometimes, they just pile up, and we wail and sob and beg for the pain to stop. But there is a higher reason, a higher calling, a higher purpose for our lives. We go through struggles, pain, and crises because God, Who started the work in us, will keep at it until we see Him face to face. We will be as pure as gold.

Are we yielding to the pain, or are we rebelling against the working of God in our hearts? Often, we can't see the higher purpose for our lives. We beg for the pain to stop. But God continues working.

I love the song, He's Still Workin' on Me, by Joel Hemphill:

    He's still workin' on me
    To make me what I ought to be;
    It took Him just a week
    To make the moon and stars,
    The sun and the earth
    And Jupiter and Mars.
    How loving and patient He must be!
    He's still workin' on me.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we don't like crises; we don't like pain. But neither do we see the finished product of our lives. Help us to trust You during these times, because You say that You will keep working on us. We do appreciate that in the long run, but, oh, it is hard sometimes. Help us, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Judy Miller <gjmiller@telusplanet.net>
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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