2 ¶ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I don’t how it is where you live, but we’ve had a bumper-crop of pollen this year. In fact, there’s been more pollen here than I’ve ever seen in my life. Everything has been covered with a thick layer of the obnoxious powder. My gray pickup looks like it has had a yellow paint-job. I was pleased with the result after I took it to the car wash, but the following day the truck was a beautiful shade of neon gold again. And, so far, the rain we’ve had hasn’t washed away the pollen yet. April showers have only left the sidewalks with piles of yellow dust–and then the blooming plants send out another boatload of pollen into the air.
Of course, wherever you have pollen, people are going to have allergies. We’ve had so much pollen this year that people who don’t usually have allergies are having trouble. I’ve never heard so much choking, sneezing and snorting go on!
The other morning while visiting with some of my teacher-friends I exclaimed, “I wish there was no pollen in the world!” Our Agriculture Science instructor overheard my remark and told me I need to be careful what I wish for. He patiently explained that if there was no pollen in the world, the plants would die. If the plants died, the animals would die. And, if the plants and animals died, all the people would die, too. He said pollen is a necessary evil.
It’s a good thing I don’t automatically get everything I wish for, or I would have wiped out the human race. Pollen is aggravating, but it’s necessary for life. Interestingly enough, the Bible says the same thing about the trials and temptations we all go through in our lives. In today’s Scripture reading (at the top), St. James says we ought to rejoice when we go through troubles of all sorts. Our problems are irritating but are necessary for spiritual life. Without them we would never grow spiritually. Just as a child who never masters his lessons at school will turn out to be woefully ignorant, so too we will be lacking if we don’t learn to trust God when we face hard trials of our daily lives. Our trials are the “pollen” that the Lord uses to bring forth a beautiful garden of righteousness in our souls.
Dear mama, set aside a few minutes to read James Chapter 1 today. It is there that he explains how God works in the hard times of our lives and also tells us how we can get wisdom from the Lord. And let’s live with renewed trust and commitment to the One who is working in all the circumstances of our lives—the Blessed Gardener of our souls.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is in the middle of his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where everybody is hunting for the Claritin.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.