Beauty from Pain

Monday, January 12, 2009

God speaks to the hearts of His people. I experienced that this week. I have been working my way through John Piper's book, "Life As A Vapor". I work my way through books cover to cover and this book is no exception. 

Except for last week. Last Sunday I faced a trial. The root of this trial was self-pity and the minute I turned to my identity in Christ, the burden was lifted. 

However, the next day God brought me back to that trial in my morning devotions. Alongside of this devotional I was reading through the book of Mark. The reading for the day happened to be Mark 15. (The chapter leading up to and describing the death of Jesus Christ's great sacrifice on the cross.)

In the other book, I managed to read many days ahead. Now, I cannot explain this other than God's providence. Not only did I have a bookmark on the day I was "supposed" to read, I also read it daily and should know about how far into the book I am. Yet, somehow, I managed to read close to ten days ahead of where I was "supposed" to be reading. 

The result? A chapter titled: "Storms Are the Triumph of His Art". 

Through this chapter God gave a recap of the trial I faced from the day before, my attitude, my actions, and the comfort He brought me. I learned the lesson yet again: HE is my portion and in Him I have my complete being. I "need" no one else to give me my worth or acknowledge it. 

I want to share with you this poem that was written by George Herbert and cherished by John Newton.

Away despair! My gracious Lord doth hear:
Though wims and waves assault my keel, He doth preserve it:
He doth steer, 
Ev'n when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of His art.
Well may He close His eyes, but not His heart.

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