From the devotional, "Beside Still Waters", by Dr. Hughes Day, this one made an immediate impression upon my heart this morning. Don’t misunderstand...I have no immediate sickness, nor any extraordinary suffering, nor any inordinate sorrow. Perhaps someone does:
The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4)
When the road is long, the days are dark, and storms threaten to overcome our souls, we are prone to cry, "Lord, why? Why this sickness? Why this suffering? Why this sorrow?"
How often we pray that the beauty of the Master be formed in us and yet we forget that God often maketh it from ashes. We pray for the fruit of the Spirit but we cry out against the Husbandman’s pruning. Our hearts desire a steadfast faith that will shine as gold, but we dread the purging of the dross! We long to be made in the Potter’s image yet we resist when He would mold us and make us after His will. We do not desire to be broken or pressed against the Potter’s wheel.
But sickness and sorrow and suffering are the instruments the Potter frequently uses, and He makes most beautiful vessels with these tools. The most precious gold is that which passes through the refiners’s fire. The fruits of the Spirit form abundantly when the Husbandman prunes with His knives.
Take courage. Your part in these trials is to draw close to Christ and trust Him. Joy comes in the morning. The trial of faith does not always last. Though the waters are deep, yet the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow. Strive not against His expressed will. Hinder not the Holy Spirit. He will yet fill your life with the beauty of Jesus and make you fit for the Master’s use.
(Hughes W. Day, MD., originator and founding director of the world’s first Intensive Coronary Care Unit, at Bethany Medical Center, 1962 in Kansas City, KS.)