You would think that if anyone ought to be exempted from suffering it would have been the Apostle Paul, yet few have ever suffered so much. His suffering wasn’t caused by a spirit of rebellion, but as a result of submitting himself to God’s will. Are you ready for that? Are you willing to deny your personal desires to please your Master, even if it produces pain rather than pleasure? The following story told in “Senior Living” serves to illustrate the kind of attitude we need:
Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainers require absolute obedience from the horses, and test them to see if they are completely trained.
The final test is almost beyond the endurance of any living thing. The trainer forces the horses to go without water for many days. And when he turns them loose, they, of course, start running toward the water. But just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle.
These horses that have learned perfect obedience simply stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand there quivering, wanting water, but they wait in perfect obedience. And when the trainer is sure that he has their obedience, he gives them a signal to go back to drink.
Now many may say this is severe, but when you are on the trackless desert of Arabia and your life is entrusted to a horse, you had better have an obedient horse. In much the same way, we must accept God’s training and obey Him, even if that means we should suffer for His namesake. Obedience must come first in our lives.
So when you’re tempted to find the easy way out through disobedience to God, remember to obey. Trust that He knows what’s best for you and that even if it means suffering, He’ll care for your every need!—-Pray that God would give you the strength to obey Him even when it results in hardship.