In a post I made to this blog last week, I wrote about character and reputation. I cited Romans 5, and I called your attention to a cause and effect link: “Suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope.”
Over the weekend I reflected again on the words of Paul, and I remembered a story that Billy Graham tells. It’s a good illustration of how God can use the suffering you encounter in your life.
The incident occurred during the Great Depression, and Graham spoke of a friend who had lived a life of hardship. The man had lost his job, his wife, his home, and his fortune. This Christian could not comprehend the purpose of his suffering, but he didn’t let his trials shake his faith.
While walking by a church one day, he stopped to watch some masons as they worked. One of the men was chiseling a triangle shaped piece of stone, and Graham’s friend asked him: “What are you doing?” The workman replied: “See that little opening near the top of the spire? I’m chiseling this stone down here, so it will fit in just right up there.”
As Graham’s friend walked down the street, his eyes filled with tears and he smiled. He realized that God was using his suffering as a chisel down here, so some day he would fit in up there.
Paul said: “For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).”
When your heart aches, I hope you will find some comfort in the promises of Psalm 27:1, 14: The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
I’ll close with this thought: When you wait on the Lord, He lifts the weight of the world.