Please welcome today’s guest author Kerry Rohman.
The season of detasseling has come and gone. If you live in the Corn Belt (midwestern part of the United States), you’ve at least heard the term. The youngsters that take on this feat describe it as “hard work”, “hot”, “early mornings” and “lots of walking”. Pretty descriptive, right?
For those who don’t know about detasseling. This seasonal job entails removing the tassel (the pollen-producing flower) from the top of the corn as pollination control for seed corn. If you’ve ever seen a cornfield, you know there are lots of rows! Throughout the 3-4 week detasseling season thousands of acres are walked row by row in the July heat.
If detasseling was easy, there would be lines of youngsters signing up for this summer job and they’d all work the whole season. It would be generous to say that only half of the detasselers stick it out until the season ends. Yes, there were trials and challenges along the way such as weather, bugs, and rashes. And at other times, the kiddos were worn out, wondering if they would ever get to the end of the row. Those lone survivors that stuck it out gained something more than a better paycheck; they developed perseverance.
With detasseling corn in mind let’s take a look at what James says about faith and perseverance. James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4, NIV)
If someone were to ask me to describe the season of life I’m in with one word, I would say “perseverance”. I would be lying to you if I said persevering was a “walk in the park” and “my cheeks hurt from smiling so much” kind of experience. For instance, my nose has been clogged up for 6 months, thanks partly to Illinois allergens, to tears shed in prayer, and trials endured. Although I have found that Zyrtec, Nasacort and my neti-pot have helped ease some of the discomfort, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you WHO is carrying me through, always has and always will.
When I was younger, I used to think if I “prayed hard enough”, was a “good” Christian, was faithful to God, close to Jesus, and completed an abundance of “good work” I could earn a life free of trials. I quickly learned that mindset was far from the truth. Just look at the lives of the apostles, Jesus’ closest companions, they endured many tribulations, their faith was tested, and perseverance developed. It’s obvious that Jesus didn’t have a trial-free life either. Paul even taught that “through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b NASB95)
The tribulations you go through that test your persevering faith may look different from mine. Just like there’s an end to the cornrow, there will be an end to trials as well. It’s in those seasons we learn to trust God in all things. Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB95). But, how do you get through? Keep “fighting the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Hold on to who God says He is. Declare scripture and truth over yourself (sword of the spirit) and always carry your shield of faith. Reflect on answered prayers. Keep asking, seeking & knocking. And have a heart of thanksgiving and praise.
Lord-We thank you for who you are. You are our peace and our comforter. You never leave us or forsake us. Teach us to lean onto Your promises, to have joy amidst trials, to be content in every situation. Help us to have persevering faith, to fix our eyes on Jesus, and to trust You in all of Your ways. Provide us with patience and hope during “waiting” seasons. Help us to always choose to be better in every situation instead of bitter and to cling to the voice of truth. Empower us by Your Spirit. We thank you for the breakthroughs we’ve experienced and the ones yet to come. We pray this in Jesus Name!
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”-James 1:12 (NASB95)