By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

If you were to ask Jacob, Moses, and David when they grew the most, trusted the most, and learned the most, what do you think they would answer?
Hmmm ...
I think Jacob might say ... in distant lands and in the wrestling.
I think Moses might say ... in the wilderness.
I think David might say ... in the pasture or the battlefield.
Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think so.
We don't grow and develop character but through sustained periods of hardship, difficulty, and aloneness.
Consider any individual God used mightily and see if this isn't true:
Abraham, Job, Daniel, Jeremiah, Esther, Ruth, Peter, Paul.
Hmmm ....
What do these indiviudals suggest but that wildernesses, wrestlings, and "fields of all sort" are essential landscapes that develop and grow character, depth, and intimacy with God.
God picks the right landscape for the right man at the right hour and He knows what each individual needs to fulfill the calling He has determined for their lives.
Where He places us, He also "graces" us, and there reveals Himself.
Everything is preserved and preordained for God's glory and our good.
The following revelations ought to encourage, inspire, and enlighten:
-Those who wrestle with God prove heartier servants of God and bear a countenance of firmer resolution and "muscle" with God.
-Those who have spent years in a "wilderness" prove more resourceful and resilient than most and tend to fare better in barren conditions.
-Those who have tended "pastures" become familiar with dark lonely nights, long lonely days, and extended periods of isolation. They have learned how to sing in the night and operate a sling in the day. They tend to be more watchful, observant, and humble; better prepared and more equipped to serve in a moment's notice.
-Those who have labored on battlefields develop a teamwork and combat mentality that serves to protect, preserve, and do battle where needed. They prove sufficient in displaying boldness and courage.
We don't like the hard places, dear reader, but we are equipped, prepared, and made ready in them.
The works of service God has ordained for us require them.
God is growing us,
Developing us,
And loving us.
It's not in spite of the hard places ... 
but through the hard places,
we grow.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10