What is our steppingstone?
Though He was son, yet He learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8)
Disadvantages in life usually keep us humble and obedient. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was one of the most godly and successful American Presidents. He had a difficult childhood! His formal schooling was for less than a year. He failed in business in 1831 and was defeated for the legislature in 1832. The next year he again failed in business. His fiancée died in 1835. He was defeated for speaker in 1838. When he got married, his wife became a burden for him. Only one of his four sons lived past age 18. He was defeated for congress, Senate, and vice-presidency. But he was elected as President in 1860!
There is no one without failures in this world. For those who love God no failure is final. Failures, crisis, suffering, losses, disappointments, and such things belong to the same category. In the providence of God, all these can be redemptively used to learn obedience.
Why God takes us through such difficult voyage? Hebrews 12:9 gives the answer: ‘We have human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of Spirits and live? The Son of God as the Son of Man graduated with honours in the School of Suffering, with obedience as the core subject.
Failures are God’s attention-getters. Failures bring us to knees. Repeated failures make us prostrate before God. If we don’t learn from failures, we are only learning to fail. Henry Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first car. No one repeated that mistake! An objective analysis of these failures would teach us how we can avoid them by watchfulness and diligence.
Let us learn from the testimony of Psalmist: ‘Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your Word…..It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes’ (ps.119:67,71).
rev. dr amutha devaraj