During World War II the Army trained soldiers in at an installation located in Florida. The daily training included a run through an obstacle course. On the final stretch of the endurance test, they had to grab a rope and swing across a pool. This was good in theory, but under the hot southern sun the water looked so inviting to the men that most of them soon developed a habit of making it only halfway across the pond. If you were in charge of preparing these soldiers for battle, knowing that this training was essential for victory in battle, what would you do?
A lieutenant came up with a rather creative solution. He made this pool the new home for a large alligator. From that day on, the recruits were highly motivated and set new records making it across, clearing the ground fifteen feet from the water’s edge!
Hebrews 12:11 says, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Our behavior as Christians must sometimes be shaped by the “encouragement” of unpleasant circumstances. If the Lord didn’t permit trials to come into our lives, we would easily succumb to feelings of self-sufficiency and complacency, not attaining His purpose for us to develop spiritual strength and character. So as you experience trials, remember those challenges and difficulties come have a wise and good purpose. Draw near to the Lord for the grace and strength you need, trusting Him cultivate in your life a harvest of righteousness.