If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (1 Corinthians 1:6-7)
Are there some people in your circle of friends to whom you naturally go to in times of trials and sorrow – people who always seem to say just the right words and who give you the very counsel you desire? If so, you may not realize the high cost they have paid to become so skilled at binding up your gaping wounds and drying your tears. Yet if you were to investigate their past, you would find they have suffered more than most other people.
They have watched the silver cord on which the lamp of life hung slowly unravel. They have seen the golden bowl of joy smashed at their feet, and its content spilled. They have experienced raging tides, withering crops, and darkness at high noon, but all this has been necessary to make them into nurses, physicians, and ministers of other.
Cartons containing spices from the Orient may be cumbersome to ship and slow in coming, but once they arrive the beautiful fragrances fill the air. In the same way, suffering is trying and difficult to bear, but hiding just below the surface is discipline, knowledge, and limitless possibilities. Each of these not only strengthens and matures us but also equips us to help others. So do not worry or clench your teeth, simply waiting with stubborn determination for the suffering to pass. Instead, be determined to get everything you can from it, both for yourself and fort he sake of those around you, according to the will of God. selected
Once I heard a song of sweetness,
As it filled the morning air,
Sounding in its blest completeness,
Like a tender, pleading prayer;
And I sought to find the singer,
Where the wondrous song was borne;
And I found a bird, quite wounded,
Pinned down by a cruel thorn.
I have seen a soul in sadness,
While its wings with pain were furled,
Giving hope, and cheer and gladness
That should bless a weeping world
And I knew that life of sweetness,
Was of pain and sorrow borne,
And a stricken soul was singing,
With its heart against a thorn.
You are told of One who loved you,
Of a Savior crucified,
You are told of nails that held Him,
And a spear that pierced His side;
You are told of cruel scourging,
Of a Savior bearing scorn,
And He died for your salvation,
With His brow against a thorn.
You “are not above the Master.”
Will you breathe a sweet refrain?
And His grace will be sufficient,
When your heart is pierced with pain.
Will you live to bless His loved ones,
Though your life be bruised and torn,
Like the bird that sang so sweetly,
With its heart against a thorn?
-Streams in the Desert