Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For Your Good

A quote from the end of Foxe's Book of Martyrs comes to mind: "The Lord has been better to us than all our fears."
 
Being an extraordinarily fearful person naturally myself, this quote has often comforted me. Because looking back, it has been true. He does work all things together for your good. I don't know what that will look like, but I know it is true.
 
I've been reading Genesis again lately, making note of every instance of the Lord's guidance in each chapter (some direct instructions, some interrelational conflicts, some famines).
 
I've been thinking about Joseph, and how the Lord said He had sent him ahead of Jacob and the others to save them. All those many years of suffering without any hope in sight... and he was sent. You can't know yet how this trial will play out -- or what good will come of it, but if you are His child, He works all things together for your good who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And He is still preparing a place for you. There is a reward.
 
"Moreover He called for a famine in the land;
He destroyed all the provision of bread.
He sent a man before them -- Joseph -- who was sold as a slave.
They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons.
Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him."
(Psalm 105:16-19)
 
"Many of the richest blessings which have come down to us from the past are the fruit of sorrow or pain."
(Streams in the Desert, September 19)
 
I was in hard labor with my oldest for 26 hours. My total labor was 65 hours. Three hours of pushing, one and a half of that with a vacuum extractor -- and no pain medication. I'll spare you the inventory of damages to myself. When he finally came out, my pale, blood-spattered husband said, "We're not doing this ever again."
 
With my baby in my arms, I said, "Why not? I feel like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound!"
 
Joseph named one of his sons 'forget,' because he said God had made him to forget his suffering in the land of his affliction. God knows how to reward the righteous. And His rewards are so rich that no amount of fetters and irons can dull them. No years in prison can be compared with the riches He has prepared for His own.
 
"I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
 
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me."
 
(Also from Streams)

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