Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver. I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. – Isaiah 48:10
Be patient, suffering soul! I hear thy cry.
The trial fires may glow, but I am nigh.
I see the silver, and I will refine
Until my image shall upon it shine.
Fear not, for I am near, thy help to be;
Greater than all thy pain, My love for thee. – H.W.C.
I found Isaiah so disturbing I had to include the poem to soften today’s reading. None of us likes to think of ourselves as chosen for suffering or depression. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves we all go through numerous dark nights. Our sufferings may not be the sudden loss of a spouse, a crippling disease, or starvation; but I have certainly seen things that in the grand scheme of things seem like the end of the world to the sufferer (even if they are not really) and bring on major depression, loss of faith, and cries to God, “Why me.” We each need, from time to time, to hear “greater than all thy pain, My love for thee.”
Those comforting words seem so true to me. I don’t have to look any further than my own experiences as a father to experience how God must feel about each and every one of us. What father or mother wouldn’t tell a crying child, “come into my arms, Greater than all your pain, is My love for thee.”