No Harsh North Winds
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1
James White wrote, "I once heard of a legend [that] originated in a small town in Germany that for a number of years experienced poor harvests. The townspeople prayed at the beginning of a New Year saying, 'God, our harvests have been so poor and so scarce, for one year will you let us plan everything?'
"God said, 'All right, for one year.'
"They immediately set their plans for abundance into motion, and God complied with their every request. Whenever they asked for rain, God sent rain. Whenever they asked for sun, God sent sun. The corn had never grown higher, and the wheat had never been thicker. But when the harvest came, they discovered that the tall corn had no ears, and the thick wheat had no heads of grain.
"'God, you have failed us!' they cried out. 'We asked for sun, and you sent sun. We asked for rain, and you sent rain. But there is no crop.'
"'You never asked for the harsh north winds,' answered God. 'Without the harsh north winds, there is no pollination, and with no pollination, there is no crop.'"2
As Seneca said, "Gold is tried by fire, brave men by adversity."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to accept trials and hardships as discipline and opportunities to help me grow and become more fruitful, and more like Jesus in every way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV).
2. Life Defining Moments by James Emery White, WaterBrook Press, 2001, pp. 106-107. Cited on www.sermons.com.