“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
Recently I toured a tulip farm. It was the peak of blooming season and what a wonderful sight it was to see hundreds of acres in full tulip bloom, displaying as many colors as in the rainbow.
I was shocked to learn that they were about to trim the flowers and then I learned why. It seems that the goal in the field is not to grow flowers, but to grow bulbs and when the flowers are trimmed and the stalk remains, it allows the nutrients to go down to the bulbs and make them stronger and more hearty. It gives the bulbs more vitality.
There is a spiritual parallel here. Sometimes God cuts out the beautiful things in our life to allow us to grow.
Since God is the source of all goodness, his glory is the wellspring of all joy. What God does for his own sake benefits us. Therefore whatever glorifies him is good for us. And that includes the suffering he allows or brings into our lives. God refines us in our suffering.
Some consider God egotistical or cruel to test us for his sake. But the testing he does for his sake accrues to our eternal benefit.
How often have you heard people say, “I grew closest to God when my life was free from pain and suffering”? Just as the tulip farmer snips the flowers from the plant, God often walks with us through hardship and despair to deepen our roots in Him and make us all the better for it.
By John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
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