Hebrews 12:11 – No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)
Cherries are one of the sweetest of fruits. They are not as easy to grow as one would suspect. When one of my children moved to a fruit-growing area in southern British Columbia, Canada, we were thrilled to have her bring a bucket of cherries from trees on their new property. Our joy was short-lived; they were full of worms.
Apparently, cherries must be sprayed at a certain stage and can be picked only so many days after that, or they must be sprayed again. If picked too soon, the chemicals will not have dissipated.
Add to that the damage that rain causes. If left wet, they will split and rot, so the local growers hire a helicopter to hover over the orchards to dry the fruit.
All of this reminds me of the times when God has had to send some whirling circumstances to keep us from splitting and rotting from our self-centeredness or lack of contact with Him. His Word will send the worms of worry and fear far away if we allow it. How we need this "discipline" to keep us sweet!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we don't appreciate the trials and obstacles that put us on the straight and narrow. Please don't withhold them, if they are needed to make us fit to serve You. Amen.