Braces, Stitches, and Scars


By G.P. Avants

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.”

                        Romans 8:18

(This is a flashback for me. I think it’s time to revisit this piece.)

         It will be two years this coming March; Yep, I was one of those 30 somethings who decided to do the braces thing as an adult. It was great at first because I was finally getting my snaggly teeth straightened out. (Funny thing was that I had finally gotten comfortable with my teeth when I had the opportunity to get them fixed.)

         Well, I thought they’d be off a year ago, but they told me it would take longer. Great. It’s just it takes so much longer to clean your teeth and you get accustomed to pain. You get use to a lot of things that change your perspective on things.

         I also bear a scar on my side from an removed appendix that I should have died from it rupturing. It has faded with time but, the lessons have not. It reminds me, when I stop and consider what the Lord has done, that I matured because of that near death experience. 

         I’ve done some pretty dumb things in my life.  Who hasn’t? I broke a thumb while on a first date and the day before my wedding I split my brow open on a trampoline.

         How do all of these physical shortcomings fit together? I was getting to that. I believe that my tendency was to play the foolish, wreck-less guy when the Lord desired to mature me. I fought the very thing that I wanted however, wouldn’t slow down enough to listen to Him.

         He used those previous events to temper my immature nature and bring it in line with His plan for my life. I learned from pounds of patience, eons of endurance, and heaps of humility from these seemingly every day experiences. 

         You know as well as I that the Lord will use anything and everything in our lives to mature us as His children. Life really is a crucible, a testing ground, as it were, to prepare us for eternity.  That makes enduring things in this life purposeful not just mere suffering.

         Let me say something before you put this down. We in America know little about really suffering for our faith. Who knows what will happen before our Lord returns but, we can, in His strength, remain faithful until the end? If you are going through suffering now know that He is tempering, you for greater things. 

We have it pretty easy here in the land of plenty. Faith tested becomes pure and rich. Let the fire of His spirit mature you today.


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