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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Why some blessings may hurt
Date Posted: March 13, 2016

After weeks of scorching heat and baking sunshine, I tried to lift my head at the faint scent of moisture in the air. I wasn't wrong. Definitely moisture wafted on the breeze because a tree frog began his anxious croaking. He smelled it too, and began rejoicing over that first drop of water before it even fell.

Then the thunder cracked with an earth-shaking boom. The first drops of rain tickled my arms, but I was too weak at the moment to do anything but thank God for the rain.

Rain began lightly enough, refreshment for the parched ground and sending up a wonderful fragrance that perfumed the air... a glorious perfume of ... oh, you know what that smells like and how good it is. Then it came down harder, not so hard that it hurt, but it was beating me down, as weak as I was, I couldn't stand against it. My feet were rooted to the ground and I couldn't run for cover like the cat startled by thunder.

Soon I was hurting in a different way and I cried out, “God! Oh, God! Why are You pelting me like this? The refreshing water is wonderful. The coolness of cloud cover after the scorching heat is restoring, and the blessing of rain which removes the dust and dirt from my face is so rejuvenating, but why so much? Why so hard? It bends my head. It spatters the mud, choking me. It hurts.

“I know I should be thankful. I should rejoice, and I do rejoice because I was dying. But, this blessing is hurting me in a different way.”

“Trust Me, child,” He replied. “I know what I am doing because I created you. If I do not give you enough rain, your roots won't go deep into the ground where it is safe and healthy and moist. Too little rain and your roots grow along the top of the ground and they burn in the sun; then you die. It has to be enough rain to soak deep into the ground. Just enough so when some evaporates, the process won't deprive you of My life giving water. I designed it this way.

“This hard rain may seem like a trial to you now... even painful... but, your roots will drink, strength will come back, and you'll stand proud in the sun. You'll be windswept. You may bend you, but you won't break. One day, Little Oak, you will stand proud with your arms reaching toward Me and you will point to Me.

"You are a witness to Me, now, but you will be a greater witness to Me when you are a mighty tree. Just like the heavens recount My glory, and the expanse proclaims my handiwork there will be no speech and no words where your voice is not heard. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and the fullness of it. Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then the trees of the forest shall rejoice for the Light has come and the Son shines forth.”

(Psalm 19,96, and some deeply dark times in my life inspired this short story. It first appeared here in 2009. It came to mind when writing my new book When Christians Hurt Christians: How to Remove the Stone-Heavy Ache of Hurts and Betrayals. I pray that you will consider purchasing this book as soon as it is published.)

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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