“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22.)
THE best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God. The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world.
“Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbriar rose.
“At dewy morn or twilight’s close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.
“But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.
“Ofttimes with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.
“A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.
“Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when tempests blow,
The sweeter flow
“And should it be Thy blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.
“And while its dying fragrance flows I’ll whisper low, ‘He loves and knows His crushed briar rose.’ ”
If you aspire to be a son of consolation; if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy; if you would pour something beyond commonplace consolation into a tempted heart; if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life with the delicate tact that never inflicts pain; you must be content to pay the price of a costly education—like Him, you must suffer.
—F. W. Robertson.