Paul Knows About Paying Dues

Romans 5:3-5

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

This is a verse to read when you are going through some tough times.  I wrote it down on a piece of paper many years ago.  I wrote it down during a time when the frustration and stress of my job was literally starting to kill me.

I had a piece of notebook paper where I copied inspirational and comforting verses from the Bible.  I kept this piece of paper in my front pocket and carried it with me throughout the day.  I would take it out of my pocket and read the verses, especially when the stress levels were rising.  Reading them would calm me down just a bit.

I carried this piece of paper for over a year.

It was folded and unfolded so many times from reading it and adding new verses to it that the folds in the paper had started to come apart.

Then one day my cherished piece of paper was gone.

I searched the house but to no avail.  I thought for sure I had left it in my shirt pocket and it had been destroyed in the washing machine.  I gave up hope of ever finding it.

Then months later I was breaking down the bed frame in our old home up north, preparing for the move south. As I moved the head board there it was lying behind the bed.

Somehow one night or morning, I must have moved something on the nightstand where I kept this piece of paper at night and knocked my treasured verses off of the stand.  It fell between the mattress and the corner of the bed frame and there it stayed until I found it that day.

Of all the verses on that piece of paper Romans 5:3-5 was the one that was most heart felt.

Paul speaks of endurance, the endurance of suffering and how enduring this suffering builds character.  Paul speaks about paying dues.

You have all heard the saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Paul knew all about that long before Friedrich Nietzsche coined the phrase which actually was, “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Or as Friedrich says it “Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.”

They have actually done studies to prove this, but Paul understood this over 2000 years ago.

I know this verse, as simple as it sounds, helped calm me as I read it.  I would read it when adversity was in my face and at the time it was in my face every day.

Anyway, I’m glad I found my piece of paper, it was like finding a long lost friend.  I’m sure it will give me some more posts.

The adversity in my life has diminished, or maybe I’ve grown stronger and the load has lightened.

I may start another piece of paper.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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