|Elastic 18 x 24 pastels|
A bible teacher years ago used the following analogy to describe a biblical truth. Using the requirement of fine flour to be used in sacrifice from Leviticus, he explained the following: "the process of crushing the wheat to produce flour used in sacrifice showed it's purity. The process of crushing removed impurities as the grinding and sifting separated the waste from the essential flour." He went on to say: "the fine flour is also a picture of Christ," who, when closely examined was found to be pure as well. He was beaten and tried and tempted and no sin was found in him." That example helped to shape my exploration of the person of Christ, and to examine my life as well.
We all endure hardships; difficulties are as much a part of life as sunny days. But it's what comes out of us that expresses who we are, what we're composed of. Sure, we are prone to say "ouch" and some "choice words," when we are squeezed, punched and nearly ground to nothing. But what comes afterwards also defines our character. After we have settled down, examined our reaction to the latest trial, do we continue to express pain and hurt? Or do we examine the deeper lesson buried beneath the difficulty?
For years, I really wanted to be an artist. But family, church commitments and other 'difficulties' blocked my view. All elements were necessary because truly the blocks and barriers were in my head, not in the face of family. Little by little, the difficulties actually brought out the artist in me. I knew the talent was there, but rather than use excuses and remain stuck, I used the hardships to 'squeeze' out of me what I wanted to become.