Appreciation through Discipline

There’s a story about early travels to Machu Picchu–the Incan homestead in Peru.  While it was possible to travel by rivers and then hike up the mountain to arrive at Machu Picchu, the Incan emperor required all travelers to walk the trails and to hike the mountain trek to arrive at the city.  He did this because he knew that Machu Picchu would be even prettier to those that had toiled on the rigorous journey through the Andes Mountains.

When I heard this story in Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, I also thought of many Bible stories: God delivering His people out of Egypt and to the promised land, those exiled out of Jerusalem and into Babylon (Jeremiah 29), and even Jonah and the whale.  In all of these stories, those under the direction–and, in many ways, the affliction–of God, were constantly guided and encouraged.  Quite often, He even takes us through hard times in order that we may learn to run into His arms rather than rely on the world for comfort.  In this way, those experiencing struggles inside and outside of their relationship with God were also being disciplined in order that they may enjoy His radiance, power, and love in all of its fullness. [Check out James 1:2-4].

Sleep well tonight, and I pray that the assurance of God’s overwhelming love for you fills your body and overflows from your heart.  “For out of the overflow of his heart, a man’s mouth speaks” Luke 6:45.

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