For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.—Hebrews 10:36
When God needs a person for His service-a good person, an effective person, a humble person-why does He most often turn to a person in deep trouble? Why does He seek out a person deep in the crucible of suffering, a person who is not the jovial, "happy-happy" kind? I can only say that this is the way of God with His human creation....
Ezekiel did not come out of pleasant and favorable circumstances. The light had gone out in his heart. He probably thought that God takes a long time to work out His will.
Does not this same view surface in much of our Christian fellowship? We do not want to take the time to plow and to cultivate. We want the fruit and the harvest right away! We do not want to be engaged in any spiritual battle that takes us into the long night. We want the morning light right now! We do not want to go through the processes of planning and preparation and labor pains. We want the baby this instant!
We do not want the cross. We are more interested in the crown.
The condition is not peculiar to our century. Thomas a Kempis wrote long ago, "The Lord has many lovers of His crown but few lovers of His cross." Men Who Met God, 115.
"Lord, make me a lover of Your cross as well as a lover of Your crown. Amen."