Were there no night, we could not read the stars;
The heavens would turn into a blinding glare.
Freedom is best seen through prison bars,
And rough seas calmed make a passing fair.

We cannot measure joys but by their loss;
When blessings fade away, we see them then.
Our richest clusters grow around the cross,
And in the nighttime angels sing to men.

-Author Unknown

* * *
An oyster on the ocean floor opened wide its shell to let the water pass over it. As the water flushed through, its gills picked out food, sending it to its stomach. Suddenly a large fish nearby stirred up a cloud of sand and silt with a flip of its tail. Sand! Oh, how the oyster disliked sand. It was so rough and made life so unpleasant and uncomfortable and was such a bother whenever any got inside its shell. Quickly the oyster slammed its shell shut, but it was too late. One hard gritty grain of sand had gotten in and lodged itself between his inner flesh and his shell.

My, how that piece of sand bothered the oyster! But almost immediately, special glands God had given him for coating the inside of his shell began working to coat the irritating grain of sand with a lovely smooth and shiny covering. Year after year the oyster added a few more layers of the coating onto the tiny grain of sand until at last, it had produced a beautiful lustrous pearl of great value.

Sometimes the problems we have are a bit like that grain of sand. They bother us and we wonder why we have the irritation and inconvenience they can be. But the grace of God begins to work a wonder with our problems and weaknesses, if we let Him. We become more humble and yielded, more desperate in prayer, closer to the Lord, wiser, and better able to resist the problems. Like blessings in disguise, the Lord soon takes the rough pieces of sand in our life and turns them into precious pearls of strength and power and they become a hope and inspiration to many.

* * *
The Lord makes you stronger with each victory. It’s sort of like inoculation: He gives you small doses so you won’t catch the disease, so you will constantly gradually build up your resistance to it. Whereas, if you are never tested, never given a small dose, you will never be able to take the big dose.

In the Middle Ages, because assassination by poison was so common, kings and important men used to take small doses of poison every day. They’d start off with a very tiny portion, just a few grains, and keep taking a little more each day, until they gradually built up a resistance, so that if somebody gave them a large dose, it wouldn’t be fatal.

It’s kind of like the Lord does with us: He gives us a little more each day to test us, to try us, to build up our strength and resistance. He inoculates us with a little more serum of sacrifice and trial and trouble and battle each day.

He’s trying to make you stronger every day and make you able to give a little more, sacrifice a little more, suffer a little more, fight a little more, and grow a little more.

- David Brandt Berg

* * *
Your sorrow is meant to be a strength-giver to you, and to equip you for giving strength to others.

- David Brandt Berg

* * *
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:4-5).

Turning Trials into Treasures, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International