I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3: 8)
The autumn season we are now entering is one of cornfields ripe for harvest, of the cheerful song of those who reap the crops, and of gathered and securely stored grain. So allow me to draw your attention to the sermon of the fields. This is its solemn message: “You must die in order to live. You must refuse to consider your own comfort and well-being. You must be crucified, not only to your desires and habits that are obviously sinful but also to many others that may appear to be innocent and right. If you desire to save others, you cannot save yourself, and if you desire to bear much fruit, you must be buried in darkness and solitude.”
My heart fails me as I listen. But when the words are from Jesus, may I remind myself that it is my great privilege to enter into “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings” (Phil. 3: 10) and I am therefore in great company. May I also remind myself that all the suffering is designed to make me a vessel suitable for His use. And may I remember that His Calvary blossomed into abundant fruitfulness, and so will mine.
Pain leads to plenty, and death to life—it is the law of the kingdom!
~from In the Hour of Silence
Do we call it dying when a bud blossoms into a flower?
Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless? Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 360). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.