The Inside Matters Most
My kitchen needs a decent stock of curry leaves to complete it. The said curry leaves come from what we Sri Lankans call ‘a Karapincha tree’. The curries that bubble merrily on my stove are made more delicious by this magic ingredient. In fact, numerous health benefits are attributed to this unique plant which grows in abundance in Sri Lanka.
Here in Adelaide, on our regular trips to the Sri Lankan Spice shop I ensure that I stock up on curry leaves. I put them into an airtight container which I keep in the fridge. When I prepare a meal, a few leaves are washed and added to each dish, tempered in a little olive oil together with sliced onions and garlic. But I often find that the lid of the plastic box is covered in a watery mist because the leaves must be emitting water when they ‘breathe’. The problem though is that those little liquid droplets fall back on the leaves. Leaves which are ‘rained on’ grow black, losing their lovely green freshness.
The other day I wondered if I should remove all the brown and black leaves which lay on the surface. I parted the leaves and was glad to find that the leaves underneath were still green. Of course! The top layer prevented those below from being ‘rained on’! I kept the darker leaves as a protective sheath over the rest. Next time I checked, the spoilt layer of leaves was even darker in colour. But the leaves below were still fresh and green and usable. Hooray!
When life throws mud and slime my way, it’s often only the tough circumstances I perceive. But beneath the grime of my present circumstances, God breathes life and makes my soul thrive. The very circumstances I balk at might be just what I need to grow me. They keep me humble. They will prevent my being self-centred or self-absorbed. They will open my eyes to others’ needs. They will help me empathise better. They might even protect me from situations and people that could hurt me even more.
So when I go through tough times, it’s worth remembering that as I patiently endure, God’s working on my character and refining my soul. The book of Hebrews expresses it well. “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.” Hebrews 12:11
Are you going through a challenging season? God often seems to be far away when we suffer, but the Bible assures us that He is with us through each difficult moment and that our temporary afflictions are working for us an eternal weight in glory. Jesus Himself was like that top layer of curry leaves. The sins of the world rained down on Him. He covered us and our sin, enduring much pain and anguish that He may give us LIFE.
And so today, as you persevere through your difficult season, let me encourage you. For now, the rain might fall, the storms might rage and the world may grow dark and sad. But be assured that you safe under the Saviour’s wings. The Refiner will polish your soul as you patiently endure. May He give you the strength to keep going. Praying today that a blessed season of singing will be upon you before long. You will then rejoice at all God has perfected in you. Because we in Christ know that He makes all things beautiful in His time.
“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will, should commit
themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:19
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect
work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:3-4