When my dad lived in Pennsylvania, he had a fireplace in his house. It was one of those stove deals where you opened the front grate and built the fire inside. I remember spending winter nights with my feet near the flames as I laid on the floor and watched television.
A small shed sat at the end of the yard and, behind it, the pile of wood. A large stump served as a chopping block and I’d watch dad line up logs and split them one after another.
Eventually he’d hand me the axe.
By the time we were done, we’d have a pile of wood ready to fuel the burning.
I’ve written recently about some issues our family is experiencing. I took Carter to the doctor tonight and we have some important tests coming up that could give us an answer.
I heard a pastor in college say, once, that putting your faith in Jesus is the most dangerous choice you’ll make in your life. It is a path to great struggle, suffering, refinement, and reward.
Our struggles are our logs. Our faith is the axe and the Word of God is the blade that splits. The result is the fuel to keep going because the work will always be there. The struggles only end when our work is finished and we are called home.
So we take what comes. Every hard day. Every difficult hour. Every frustration, miserable person, crazy driver, slow cashier, and waiting room that we’ll ever sit in. We gather. We place them on the block and we strike.
It couldn’t just be any swing, though.
If I didn’t get the axe high enough or hit straight on, it would clang to the side and chip off the wood. The accuracy came with practice, the only way we get better.
With every struggle, we get better.