Necessary Tribulations

Click for desktop background

Original photo © Copyright Rossographer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Daily Reformation, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

From the Reformer

My tribulations are more necessary for me than meat and drink; and all they feel them ought to accustom themselves thereunto, and learn to bear them.

If Satan had not so plagued and exercised me, I should not have been so great an enemy unto him, or have been able to do him such hurt. Tribulations keep us from pride, and therewith increase the acknowledgment of Christ and of God’s gifts and benefits. For, from the time I began to be in tribulation, God have me the victory of overcoming that confounded, cursed, and blasphemous life wherein I lived in popedom. God did the business in such a way, that neither the emperor nor the pope was able to suppress me, but the devil must come and set upon me, to the end God’s strength may be known in my weakness.

—Martin Luther, Table Talk, “Of Temptation and Tribulation”

Pulling It Together

The boy was sent into the front yard to pick up the little, “helicopter” seeds that had fallen from two maple trees. His father gave him a rake, a basket, and motivation. When you’ve picked up all the seeds, you can play ball. So he raked until the remaining seeds slipped through the tines. Happy that the chore had been brief and he could now do what he wanted to do with is day, he ran for his glove and announced to his father that he had finished. “Are all the seeds picked up?” his father asked, knowing the answer. Upon inspection, the lad was sent back to crawl about on all fours, picking up seeds with his fingers. The job lasted hours and the lesson a lifetime.

Children often (all too often) cry about what they want. Yet their parents know what is best for them. The most loving parents give them exactly what they need—whether they like it or not.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

Leave a Reply