Weaving Straw into Gold - A lesson about faith from Rumpelstiltskin (yes, for real!)

It’s easy to praise God when life is going good, but take away the comfort and ease and add a bit of suffering and… In my case, adding suffering took away my joy and peace and replaced it with bitterness, anxiety, and depression. Don’t get me wrong - I don’t think it’s abnormal or even sinful to be sad when bad things happen - even Jesus wept - but to get stuck there, to fixate on the negative and discount the goodness of God because life isn’t the way we think it should be - that is a problem!

Joni Eareckson Tada has an excellent devotional book called “A Spectacle of Glory - God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day.” It has a Scripture verse and short reading for every day of the year, and is a particularly good resource for those of us who are dealing with ongoing suffering and hardship (which just might be all of us right?).

Today’s devotional draws a lesson from the children’s story of Rumpelstiltskin. Maybe you’re wondering, “Ok Ryan, what kind of lesson can I get about my faith from Rumpelstiltskin?!?” In the children’s story, Joni recounts the tale of an old elf who somehow takes straw and spins it into gold. She says we have the same opportunity with our hardships and struggles:

...if you trust in the Lord and hold fast to His grace, then you are laying up for yourself treasure and reward in heaven. You are weaving common straw into priceless gold. As Paul puts it, our trials will "produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"(2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT).

As we start a new year, maybe it’s a good time to take a quick personal inventory and ask the question - am I building up piles of hay that will burn in the fire someday, or am I spinning gold by choosing to follow Jesus and praise him through life’s trials and heartaches?

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire -- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

1 Peter 1:6-7