Read: Romans 5:1-5
“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the s of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”
Malachi 3:3 NASB
The “chair” was well over 100 years old and was known to be the most uncomfortable seat in the House. Five minutes perched atop it and half of one’s body would begin to fall asleep. Unfortunately, at six feet tall, a ladder was required to mount it and, upon taking up the position, those assigned to it were forbidden to leave. Yet there it sat: at the front of the chambers, a beacon to any page who wished to simply sit and listen to the day’s business. From here, I could watch every debate up close. I could see every prank pulled and hear every word spoken. It was, in my opinion, paradise.
Unfortunately, this paradise did not always belong to me. As pages, we were assigned to work on rotations – giving us a better feel for the different aspects of State government. Each day, we found ourselves with new tasks to perform and new venues to explore. The only time an exception could be made was if we could find another page who was willing to trade duties with us. While with most tasks, this wasn’t easy, when it came to the chair, it was another story. Instead of viewing the assignment as an opportunity, most of the pages saw it as unwarranted torture. When I offered to trade my assignment for theirs, I almost always got a “yes” and it wasn’t long before the chair was mine: good, bad, and indifferent.
What I saw from my awkward perch was invaluable. Watching each debate, I learned about the nature of politics, government, morality, and human nature. I came to understand what works in government… and much about what doesn’t. I will never lose the lessons I learned in the hours spent up there and have never regretted the discomfort I experienced.
Unfortunately, I don’t always carry this attitude into my spiritual life. Scripture speaks of God as a purifier, seeking to refine His people and the process of remaking us in His image is sometimes as uncomfortable as that chair in the front of the House chambers. When we avoid this purification, we miss precious opportunities to grow. When we patiently endure this discomfort, however, we reap rewards beyond our imagining. The choice is ours… if only we will make the right one!
Challenge: The next time you face an uncomfortably situation, try seeing it through God’s eyes. Look for the lessons to be learned and the ways that this difficult situation will make you more like the One who saved you. Commit to enduring the trial without grumbling and you may be surprised by the results!