"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 1:6-7
I heard a story of a man who was a missionary in Africa, where the land was so fertile that anything planted in the earth would grow abundantly. He went home to Ireland for a visit and was amazed at the beauty and delightful fragrance of the roses that grew on the Irish east coast. The missionary decided to take some of those roses and plant them in Africa. They grew and grew, but for some reason held not the wonderful fragrance that they had in Ireland.
When the missionary went back to Ireland he asked why the roses there had such a potent smell, and he got his answer.
It was the cold east wind.
Living in Ireland I can understand what this east wind is like. It comes from the Celtic sea and blows a damp, cold and harsh wind that you have no choice but to brace yourself for.
The roses that grew in Ireland held a pressure that the ones in Africa did not have to endure, and the results were astonishing. They became more vibrant and beautiful, and without that harshness, would never have held those beautiful characteristics.
As believers there are trials and hardships that we sometimes face. There are times I am so burdened with struggles that I even forget the Lord’s presence, but I found this story to be so encouraging. Yes, life can be difficult, but what is the Lord doing with it? He is using these trials to grow us and the result is a life that will be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
I once walked past a flower shop in Ireland on a cold, windy, rainy day and the smell was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I wonder, through the difficult circumstances and hurdles I face, is my life a pleasing aroma to the Lord? He is using the pressures we face to purify and mold and shape us. He is doing a work that we cannot see and through the pain, and the struggle, and the trial He is forming a beautiful you.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
This is a re-post from my last website. The original post can be found here.