Give Oxen a Chance

4 Without oxen a stable stays clean,
but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.

Proverbs 14: 4 NLT

When I read the above verse it brought to mind how messy life is.  And I’m not talking about dust and pet fur, although those do keep me busy at our house.  I’m referring to challenging relationships, God’s discipline, life’s trials – the things that make us feel out-of-sorts and uncomfortable, even down and frustrated.  It’s easy to fall into the pit of despair when we encounter these things.  We wish we could wave a wand or nod our head and make the situation disappear.  But these things are our oxen.  We need oxen.

These life challenges help us grow and mature to a place that God is holding out to us.  He waits for us at the finish line with open arms.  When we arrive, he blesses us immeasurably because we endured despite the pain and discomfort.  Then, after a period of green pastures and flowing streams, we have to strap the plough to our oxen again and get working.  It’s backbreaking, sweat-inducing, mind-numbing labor, but we are leaner, stronger, and closer to God when our next harvest arrives.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, please help me to endure through challenging times and to appreciate the large harvest you grant me for persevering.  Thank you for helping me to grow and to see your grace and love in all situations.  Amen.

What is the ox in your life right now?  What harvests have you reaped from persevering in the past?

Fields outside Galena, Ill by Heather Zuber-Harshman

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