When a plant starts to grow, sometimes parts of it that are bad or will impede its growth, have to be pruned or sheared so it can grow better. So, it is with humans. So, it is with me.
Every time I am pruned and sheared by God, the process is painful and seems to last forever. For instance, I was searching for a job for a long time, before I found my current one. Also, this month has been peppered with personal and other disappointments for me. Specifics? No thank you, but I wanted to find out how people cope with extremely difficult situations, and come out stronger and more faithful to God, and not curse Him to His face (or worse yet, behind His back), or not become on the edge of being suicidal all the time.
First, I realized when I am pruned or sheared by God, He wants me to remember that He is doing what is best for me at the time and He wants me to be thankful for what I still do have. For instance, when my former pastor left the church, it was painful and difficult letting go of him. But little did I know God had a plan for me in meeting my now-current pastor and for growing in my faith further with his leading us, something that would probably not have happened in the way God wanted my faith to grow had the old pastor stayed.
Also, I realized when I am pruned or sheared by God, I can better relate to others who are going through a difficult time. When I am happy as a clam, I cannot feel what others are going through as easily as if I am going through a difficult time myself. I can emphasize and love better.
Finally, when I am pruned or sheared by God, I am better able to see what matters most. I am not as attuned to materialistic or other pursuits that don’t matter in the eternal scheme of things. I start to see through the lens of eternity and know that not only (during this time of year) that Jesus (and God) is the reason for the season, but is the reason for every good thing, and that He will carry me in His arms tenderly during this painful time, whispering “I am with you.”