Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. (Amp 15:2)
With careful observation, pain seems to have been programmed into nature by the Creator for a purpose. Everything that must grow must of necessity go through some cutting per our opening verse. It is amazing because whether the cutting is done to take off a non-productive branch or to increase fruit production, the pain felt is the same.
It is a matter of perspective. If you see the cutting as an act to get rid of you, you will avoid and fight the process required to increase your growth.
Do you know how pearls are formed? Pearls come from oysters or other shellfish like mussels and clams and if these shelled creatures enjoy a calm, peaceful, pain-free existence, they never produce a pearl at all. They only create pearls if an irritant, like a tiny speck of pebble or sand or a parasite becomes trapped in the sensitive tissues within their hard shells.
In order to soothe and remediate the pain caused by this invasion abrasion, oysters and shellfish emit a substance called Nacre that coats the irritating invader with a smooth, slippery, translucent layer.
They then repeat this process over and over until the irritant is coated with many layers of Nacre, forming a beautiful pearl.
A pearl of great price is our pain wrapped in God’s perfection.
I once saw this writing at a gymnasium “No Pain, No Gain”, how true! Those who wish for an easy life, murmur and blame others when their expectations are not met.
Pain is the incubator that births new dreams and visions that would never have been realized in comfort.
The art of turning pain to power is the secret of all great achievers. When one masters the pain of failure, then and only then is he ready for success.
Nelson Mandela suffered for twenty-seven years in prison with hard labor, cracking hard rocks all those years. His mastery of the physical, psychological and emotional pains, kept him alive when his fellow men were dying out of hopelessness. He later return from prison to become the first black president of his nation.
The evidence of this transformation is seen in his own words,
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
Unlike the great men and women of old, this generation is hard-up for depths of personalities of such intensity and magnitude. This is rather a microwave generation who want to be great overnight without going through any process at all. This is a generation that cannot be rebuked by their elders and sees correction and the rod as a curse.
Hence with all the advantages of technology, the corruption of the human character is at it’s all times worst. The border line between good and evil has been erased and the moral corruption has become an incurable epidemic of enormous magnitude.
Jesus Christ, our quintessential example, was crushed beyond recognition on the tree, that He may impart eternal life to all you will later believe in Him. It is not for nothing that more than two thousand years afterwards, the world still cannot get over Him.
The extent to which we allow ourselves to be broken and crushed in the process of our given assignment will determine how useful a tool we can be in the hands of the master.
I leave you with the words of Kathryn Kuhlman: “God does not seek a perfect vessel, He only asks for a vessel that is broken and available ”. How broken are you?
By Percy Agbeblewu.