A Time To Learn

2 Peter 1:3-11
Work hard to prove that you really are among
those God has called and chosen. Do these
things, and you will never fall away (v.10).


A video on GodTube captured a mother squirrel
trying to teach her baby how to scale a cement
wall. Over and over the mother squirrel patiently
showed how it was done, but the wall was simply too
big for the younger rodent to conquer.

Eventually, a few college students intervened. They first
placed a backpack up against the wall, hoping it would
function as a step for the younger squirrel. But it wasn’t
tall enough. Next, they made a higher step by placing
a couple of sandbags on top of one another. Finally the
little squirrel climbed on top of the sandbags and scaled
the daunting wall— having learned a valuable survival

This little drama from the animal kingdom reminds me
of how God often deals with us. One of the reasons He
doesn’t instantly resolve our struggles or take us out of
seemingly insurmountable challenges is because they
provide valuable learning experiences. For instance,
after He brought Pharaoh to his knees through a series
of crippling plagues (Exodus 12:31-32), God didn’t pack
the Israelites’ bags and march them out of Egypt. They
had to do it themselves, learning the valuable lesson that
faith and effort often go hand in hand.

Too often the Christian walk is seen as believers
sitting back and letting God do everything for us. That’s
rarely the case. While God is always God, and we
can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5), He’s not going to do all the work.
Sometimes He will provide a “backpack” or a “sandbag,” but He knows there
are lessons for us to learn through effort that will make us better in the long run.
—Jeff Olson

Work hard to show the
results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep
reverence and fear
(Philippians 2:12).

What’s a lesson you’ve
learned in the midst
of working through a
challenge? What would
happen to you if God
removed every challenge
from your life?

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