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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

June 17, 2013 - Hard for a Reason

By Randy Mantik

The Iola (Wis.) Old Car Show takes place during the second weekend of July. Hundreds of old car enthusiasts drive from all over the country to show off the gleaming results of their labors and to admire the fine work of others. They gather to appreciate automobiles of years gone by: Edsels, Studebakers, LaSalles and others gleaming as if they had just rolled off the showroom floor.

In years past, I've loved going with my son Caleb to see all those great cars. I'm particularly fond of post-World War II autos. Maybe because those cars were around as I was growing up. As the years went by, they became "beaters," driven in harsh winters and relegated to the toughest use because it made no difference to their owners if they fell apart.

Old cars were hand-me-downs, given to kids as their first vehicles. Often, they were "put out to pasture" in a farmer's field to rust away or taken to a junkyard for scrap metal.

So what's the fascination with these old cars now? I don't know about you, but for me it is twofold: They bring back fond memories of my growing up years and simpler times and, if the car has been restored, I'm amazed by the meticulous work and incredible care that have gone into the process of restoration, part by part, piece by piece.

At the car show, I see the finished product and I marvel. What I don't see, but what I respectfully acknowledge, are the hundreds of hours of hard work and effort invested in those beautiful automobiles. Gleaming Pontiac GTOs and Plymouth Furys in the summer sun remind me of our lives as Christians.

Many of us feel as if we've landed on the ash heap of life. Yet God by His grace chooses to restore us to the original glory He planned for us in His own image. The restoration process is difficult and often painful, but the results are truly miraculous.

I can think of so many followers of Christ who walk in strength and victory. But I also know of the pain and testing they have come through to get to their place of strength. Like those old cars, they've come through God's "restoration process," and God's glory now shines through these dear folks.

Life was hard for a reason, for a season. Like Job, they can say, "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (Job 23:10, NIV). Their perseverance and faith through trials have demonstrated God's loving strength. He has kept them. The glory of God in them shines as gold.

 Peter writes, "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6,7).

Our lives are hard at times ... for a reason.

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint Assembly of God in Portage, Wis.




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