Bred en Bawn in a Briar Patch

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4.

“and a brother is born for adversity.” Prov. 17:17.

We shall all, the sons of God, face many adversities and persecutions in our lives, if we want to seek and be like Him. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12. These have their special assignment from our Father to produce in us the fruit of righteousness.

It is not fun at the time. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11.

So, as James says, count it all joy. Not the experience of suffering, but the knowing “that the trying of your faith worketh patience” and that is the very means by which you are being conformed to the image of His glorious Son. Let it finish it’s work, don’t bail. Hang in there, trusting, believing, enduring, thanking and praising Him for the show of His special love for you.

“For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Prov. 13:12.

Paul had this experience too. Read for yourselves. All throughout his epistles he tells of his afflictions, sufferings, trials, persecutions and the like. Guess what? He was being conformed by them as he offered himself a daily living sacrifice.

You better hope you are having some of these. They are the signature of the love of your Father.

Paul had one particular trial that he described in this way: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Cor. 12:6-10.

There it is — the secret. These sufferings and trials that bring us to weakness, (and death is the ultimate weakness of this life), make us strong in that they lead us to Him, to trust, yield, depend and cast all our weight and cares upon Him.

I have come to think of my life as a series of thorns that continually make me weak, working in me to produce the fruit of righteousness.

Here are some outtakes from a classic story by Uncle Remus titled the “The Briar Patch” to help you through your thorny situations. Enjoy!

“Uncle Remus, asked the little boy the next evening, did the fox kill and eat the rabbit when he caught him with the Tar-Baby?

Law, honey, w’at I tell you w’en I fus’ begin? I tole you Brer Rabbit waz a monstus soon creetur — leas’ways dat’s w’at I laid out fer ter tell you. Well den, honey, don’t you go en make no calkalations,…. W’en Brer Fox fine Brer Rabbit mixed up wid de Tar-Baby, he feel mighty good, en he roll on de groun’ en laff. Bimeby he up’n say, sezee:

“Well, I speck I got you dis time, Brer Rabbit,… you bin runnin’ roun’ here sassin’ atter me a mighty long time, but I speck you done come ter de een’ er de row.

… Den Brer Rabbit talk mighty ’umble. “I don’t keer w’at you do wid me, Brer Fox,” sezee, “so you don’t fling me in dat briar-patch. Roas’ me, Brer Fox,” sezee, “but don’t fling me in dat briar-patch,” sezee.

“Hit’s so much trouble fer ter kin’le a fire,” sez Brer Fox, sezee, “dat I speck I’ll hatter hang you, : sezee.

“Hang me des ez high ez you please, Brer Fox,” sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, “but do fer de Lord’s sake don’t fling me in dat briar-patch,” sezee.

“I aint got no string,” sez Brer Fox, sezee, “en now I speck I’ll hatter drown you,” sezee. Drown me… skin me… Brer Fox, sez Brer Rabbit, … snatch out my eyballs, t’ar out my years by de roots, en cut off my legs,” sezee, “but do please, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in dat briar-patch,” sezee.

Co’se Brer Fox wanter hu’t Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he kotch ‘im by de behime legs en slung ‘im right in de middle er de briar-patch. Der wuz a consider’ble flutter whar Brer Rabbit struck de bushes, en Brer Fox sorter hang roun’ fer ter see w’at wuz gwinter happen. Bimeby he year sombody call ‘im, en way up de hill he see Brer Rabbit settin’ cross-legged on a chinkapin log combin’ de pitch outen his ha’r wid a chip. Den Brer Fox know dat he bin swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit was bleedz fer ter fling back some er his sass, en de holler out:

“Bred en bawn in a biar-patch, Brer Fox — bred en bawn in a briar-patch!” en wid dat he skip out des ez lively ez a cricket in de embers.