“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
As a dad of 6 children I know all too well the Battle of Broccoli, and I am sure I am not the only parent who has had challenges getting their kids to eat this green, leafy vegetable. In fact, I think if you ask almost any kid if they want broccoli they will tell you with much enthusiasm that they would rather do household chores or their homework than eat broccoli.
Broccoli has long been touted as one of the healthiest veggies because of its nutritional makeup. This superfood is loaded with fiber, antioxidants to fight cancer, and vitamin C to aid in iron absorption. It is also a great source of calcium to help control blood pressure and build strong bones. Yet even when you tell kids how good broccoli is for them, they still don’t want to eat it. So what does that have to do with our spiritual growth.
Like broccoli, often what is good for us to grow as followers of Christ does not feel good for us – we don’t like the taste, we don’t like the smell, we don’t like how it makes us feel. As such we can often cry out to the Lord and say something like “I don’t want that God, give me something that tastes or feels good.”
The bible says it like this in Romans 5:3-5 – “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
No one loves problems and trials, at least no one I know. People don’t tend to put their hand up and ask God for more problems and challenges and trials. Some people even see Him more like a cosmic vending machine, like he has to give us what we want and when we want it.
Yet problems and obstacles and unanswered prayers and all other types of “spiritual broccoli” are good for us, because they develop our character and help us to grow as followers of Christ.
Written by Wayne Hindson, ‘The Big Breakfast’ Show Host