A Lesson from Beads

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 ESV
Our church was having new carpet installed in the classrooms and Sunday School office; we had to remove everything on the floors. I took the opportunity to do some organizing. One of the minor projects was the beads for crafts. 

I wanted to sort out the pony beads from the others, since they’re easier for preschool-aged kids to string.
Some of the pony beads, though, had tiny seed beads stuck in the middle.

I left them in the bin of mixed beads, and kept sorting. When I got to the bottom of the bin, I started shaking it back and forth, trying to knock out the little beads.

It worked for some, but not all. I moved them into a smaller box with a lid and really let ’em have it.

It’s a good thing beads aren’t living!
More beads came out, but some still stubbornly stayed put. I tossed those into the mixed-bead box again. They may come dislodged later, but for now, I’ll let them stay put.
The problem is, those beads with the seed beads stuck in them–they can’t fulfill their purpose, their vocation.
Beads are for stringing. String will not fit through those beads.
What are the seed beads in your life?

Do you ever feel like life is just shaking you around, and you can’t find your bearings? Maybe you know something needs to change, but you can’t seem to fix it. 
Our gracious Lord is constantly working on us. Sometimes it may feel like everything is out of control and we can’t find our bearings, no matter what we do. The problem is, though, it doesn’t matter so much what we do. It’s about what He is doing in us. 
Are the kids not letting you get your project done? Is one bill piling on top of another and you feel that it’ll never stop? Is work stressing you out more than usual and you can’t seem to find contentment in it anymore?
There’s no magic fix to this, but take heart in the fact that it is in the midst of these trials that you are being molded, shaped for His calling, and equipped for work in His kingdom. He is with you in the storm, and will be with you still when the waters calm. 
Grant me grace, Lord, to persevere through the trials in life. Strengthen my trust in You that I do not lose heart, but cling all the more tenaciously to Your Word and its message of the Cross. In the name and for the sake of Christ I ask this. Amen. 

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