What a strange process it is to make taffy! I remember my Mother pulling taffy with my siblings and me in the kitchen. It was a slimy sticky ordeal with lots of pulling until we thought our arms would drop off! Everyone would take a turn until the taffy turned a lighter color. All that pulling and stretching aerated the taffy with little air bubbles, making it lighter and chewier. Of course, using a machine may be more efficient, but where is the fun in that?
In today’s verse, Paul is recounting some of the hardships he and Timothy had faced. At the beginning of the chapter and at the end, he says, “We do not lose heart.” It would have been completely understandable if they had! Paul had been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned and imprisoned for his faith. Being perplexed, he perhaps did not always understand the “why” behind what was happening. Yet, he remained confident that the pulling and stretching was producing something of value in him; the life of Jesus (verse 10).
Feeling perplexed is not uncommon when I am faced with hard times. I usually cannot explain why the Lord allows certain difficulties in my life. But He promises that all the pulling and stretching will be producing a “weight of glory” one day (II Cor. 4:17). All that is painful is only a “light affliction” compared to what lies ahead. Even when panicked and confused, my Father reassures me that He is in control and His control is good.
Thank you Lord, that You use it all to make me more like You. Help me not to lose heart.