(see also TRIALS)
Someone asked C.S. Lewis, "Why do the righteous suffer?" "Why not?"
he replied. "They're the only ones who can take it."
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
Helen Keller quoted in: Barbara Rowes, The book of Quotes,
Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed
especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with
complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world,
everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my experience, has been through
affliction and not through happiness.
Malcolm Muggeridge, in Homemade, July, 1990.
If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen
from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world.
If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced,
not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall
also say: "O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the
sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the
merit of Christ!"
Suffering is the heritage of the bad, of the penitent, and of the Son of God. Each one
ends in the cross. The bad thief is crucified, the penitent thief is crucified, and the
Son of God is crucified. By these signs we know the widespread heritage of suffering.
Oswald Chambers in Christian Discipline.
Stephen Hawking is an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and perhaps the most
intelligent man on earth. He has advanced the general theory of relativity farther than
any person since Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, Hawking is afflicted with ALS Syndrome
(Lou Gehrig's disease). It will eventually take his life. He has been confined to a
wheelchair for years, where he can do little more than sit and think. Hawking has lost the
ability even to speak, and now he communicates by means of a computer that is operated
from the tiniest movement of his fingertips.
Quoting from an Omni magazine article: "He is too weak to write, feed himself,
comb his hair, fix his classes--all this must be done for him. Yet this most dependent of
all men has escaped invalid status. His personality shines through the messy details of
Hawking said that before he became ill, he had very little interest in life. He called
it a "pointless existence" resulting from sheer boredom. He drank too much and
did very little work. Then he learned he had ALS Syndrome and was not expected to live
more than two years. The ultimate effect of that diagnosis, beyond its initial shock, was
extremely positive. He claimed to have been happier after he was afflicted than before.
How can that be understood? Hawking provided the answer.
"When one's expectations are reduced to zero," he said, "one really
appreciates everything that one does have." Stated another way: contentment in life
is determined in part by what a person anticipates from it. To a man like Hawking who
thought he would soon die quickly, everything takes on meaning--a sunrise or a walk in a
park or the laughter of children. Suddenly, each small pleasure becomes precious. By
contrast, those who believe life owes them a free ride are often discontent with its
James Dobson, New Man, October, 1994, p. 36.
At the Nicene Council, an important church meeting in the 4th century A.D., of the 318
delegates attending, fewer than 12 had not lost an eye or lost a hand or did not limp on a
leg lamed by torture for their Christian faith.
Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter's
Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and
fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he
prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of tobacco stores worth
several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man's banker said, "You've done well
for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?"
"Well," replied the man, "I'd be janitor of St. Peter's Church in Neville
Bits and Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 23.
A. Parnell Bailey visited an orange grove where an irrigation pump had broken down. The
season was unusually dry and some of the trees were beginning to die for lack of water.
The man giving the tour then took Bailey to his own orchard where irrigation was used
sparingly. "These trees could go without rain for another 2 weeks," he said.
"You see, when they were young, I frequently kept water from them. This hardship
caused them to send their roots deeper into the soil in search of moisture. Now mine are
the deepest-rooted trees in the area. While others are being scorched by the sun, these
are finding moisture at a greater depth."
Our Daily Bread.
A famous evangelist told the following incident: I have a friend who in a time of
business recession lost his job, a sizable fortune, and his beautiful home. To add to his
sorrow, his precious wife died; yet he tenaciously held to his faith -- the only thing he
had left. One day when he was out walking in search of employment, he stopped to watch
some men who were doing stonework on a large church. One of them was chiseling a
triangular piece of rock. 'Where are you going to put that?' he asked. The workman said,
'Do you see that little opening up there near the spire? Well, I'm shaping this stone down
here so that it will fit in up there.' Tears filled my friend's eyes as he walked away,
for the Lord had spoken to him through that laborer whose words gave new meaning to his
Our Daily Bread.
Untold suffering seldom is.
Franklin P. Jones in The Saturday Evening Post.
Most of the Psalms were born in difficulty. Most of the Epistles were written in
prisons. Most of the greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers of all time had to pass
through the fire. Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress from jail. Florence Nightingale, too ill
to move from her bed, reorganized the hospitals of England. Semiparalyzed and under the
constant menace of apoplexy, Pasteur was tireless in his attack on disease. During the
greater part of his life, American historian Francis Parkman suffered so acutely that he
could not work for more than five minutes as a time. His eyesight was so wretched that he
could scrawl only a few gigantic words on a manuscript, yet he contrived to write twenty
magnificent volumes of history.
Sometimes it seems that when God is about to make preeminent use of a man, he puts him
through the fire.
Tim Hansel, You Gotta Keep Dancin', David C. Cook, 1985,
The famous preacher D.L. Moody told about a Christian woman who was always bright,
cheerful, and optimistic, even though she was confined to her room because of illness. She
lived in an attic apartment on the fifth floor of an old, rundown building. A friend
decided to visit her one day and brought along another woman -- a person of great wealth.
Since there was no elevator, the two ladies began the long climb upward. When they reached
the second floor, the well-to-do woman commented, "What a dark and filthy
place!" Her friend replied, "It's better higher up." When they arrived at
the third landing, the remark was made, "Things look even worse here." Again the
reply, "It's better higher up." The two women finally reached the attic level,
where they found the bedridden saint of God. A smile on her face radiated the joy that
filled her heart. Although the room was clean and flowers were on the window sill, the
wealthy visitor could not get over the stark surroundings in which this woman lived. She
blurted out, "It must be very difficult for you to be here like this!" Without a
moment's hesitation the shut-in responded, "It's better higher up." She was not
looking at temporal things. With the eye of faith fixed on the eternal, she had found the
secret of true satisfaction and contentment.
Our Daily Bread.
In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 "famous
and exceptionally gifted people" called Cradles of Eminence. They spent years
attempting to understand what produced such greatness, what common thread might run
through all of these outstanding people's lives. Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact
was that virtually all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to
become who they were.
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher,
John Donne, a 17th century poet, experienced great pain. Because he married the
daughter of a disapproving lord, he was fired from his job as assistant to the Lord
Chancellor, yanked from his wife, and locked in a dungeon. (This is when he wrote that
succinct line of despair, "John Donne/ Anne Donne/ Undone.") Later, he endured a
long illness which sapped his strength almost to the point of death. In the midst of this
illness, Donne wrote a series of devotions on suffering which rank among the most poignant
meditations on the subject. In one of these, he considers a parallel: The sickness which
keeps him in bed forces him to think about his spiritual condition. Suffering gets our
attention; it forces us to look to God, when otherwise we would just as well ignored Him.
Adapted from PhilipYancey, Where is God When it Hurts?, p.
On a wall in his bedroom Charles Spurgeon had a plaque with Isaiah 48:10 on it: "I
have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." "It is no mean thing to be
chosen of God," he wrote. "God's choice makes chosen men choice men...We are
chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion
is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its
secrets, and declares its choice."
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers,
When William Sangster was told he was dying of progressive muscular atrophy, he made
four resolutions and faithfully kept them: 1) I will never complain; 2) I will keep the
home bright; 3) I will count my blessings; 4) I will try to turn it to gain.
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching &
Preachers, p. 215.
Elena Bonner, wife of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, says that as he wrote his
memoirs she typed, edited, and nursed the work, doing everything she could to make sure it
survived seizure by the government. Sakharov worked on his memoirs in Gorky, rewriting
sections because they kept vanishing. Then one day he met Elena at the train station and
with trembling lips told her, "They stole it." She says he looked like a man who
had just learned of the death of a close friend. But after a few days, Sakharov returned
to his work. According to his wife, each time he rewrote his memoirs there was something
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, January, 1991, p. 34.
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the
white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
Mildred Witte Struven, in Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p.
A man found a cocoon of the emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a
small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn't seem to
force its body past a certain point.
Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of
cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and
He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but
they did not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life
dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are
God's way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The "merciful" snip
was, in reality, cruel. Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need.
Once when Bob Hope received a major award he responded, "I don't deserve this, but
then I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either."
B.M. Launderville has written, "The vine clings to the oak during the fiercest of
storms. Although the violence of nature may uproot the oak, twining tendrils still cling
to it. If the vine is on the side opposite the wind, the great oak is its protection; if
it is on the exposed side, the tempest only presses it closer to the trunk. In some of the
storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be
exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him."
Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 17.
Those who know the path to God, can find it in the dark.
Suffering teaches us patience. These words were found penned on the wall of a prison
cell in Europe: "I believe in love even when I don't feel it. I believe in God even
when He is silent."
Billy Graham, Till Armageddon.
Though many of us have seen pictures of a huge eagle's nest high in the branches of a
tree or in the crag of a cliff, few of us have gotten a glimpse inside. When a mother
eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number
of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest
with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it
soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the
comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave.
That's when the mother eagle begins "stirring up the nest." With her strong
talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp
rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest
becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt
the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature
Today in the Word, June 11, 1989.
David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts
General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children
with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman's prognosis was devastating: "He
has a 50-50 chance." The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous
drugs, the fear and pain--the mother's ordeal can be almost as bad as the child's because
she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room,
and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he
hustled in ahead of his mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he
was three, David had to have a spinal tap--a painful procedure at any age. It was
explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him
better. "If it hurts, remember it's because he loves you," Deborah said. The
procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and
sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears,
looked up at the doctor and gasped, "Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting."
Monica Dickens, Miracles of Courage, 1985.
Billie Wilcox, on the lessons of a disaster: While my husband Frank and I were living
in Pakistan many years ago, our six-month-old baby died. An old Punjabi who heard of our
grief came to comfort us. "A tragedy like this is similar to being plunged into
boiling water," he explained. "If you are an egg, your affliction will make you
hard-boiled and unresponsive. If you are a potato, you will emerge soft and pliable,
resilient and adaptable." It may sound funny to God, but there have been times when I
have prayed, "O Lord, let me be a potato."
When the emperor Valens threatened Eusebuis with confiscation of all his goods,
torture, banishment, or even death, the courageous Christian replied, "He needs not
fear confiscation, who has nothing to lose; nor banishment, to whom heaven is his country;
nor torments, when his body can be destroyed at one blow; nor death, which is the only way
to set him at liberty from sin and sorrow."
When I hear my friends say they hope their children don't have to experience the
hardships they went through--I don't agree. Those hardships made us what we are. you can
be disadvantaged in many ways, and one way may be not having had to struggle.
William M. Batten, Fortune.
When Jewish psychiatrist Victor Frankl was arrested by the Nazis in World War II, he
was stripped of everything--property, family, possessions. He had spent years researching
and writing a book on the importance of finding meaning in life--concepts that later would
be known as logotherapy. When he arrived in Auschwitz, the infamous death camp, even his
manuscript, which he had hidden in the lining of his coat, was taken away.
"I had to undergo and overcome the loss of my spiritual child, " Frankl
wrote. "Now it seemed as if nothing and no one would survive me; neither a physical
nor a spiritual child of my own! I found myself confronted with the question of whether
under such circumstances my life was ultimately void of any meaning."
He was still wrestling with that question a few days later when the Nazis forced the
prisoners to give up their clothes.
"I had to surrender my clothes and in turn inherited the worn-out rags of an
inmate who had been sent to the gas chamber," said Frankl. "Instead of the many
pages of my manuscript, I found in the pocket of the newly acquired coat a single page torn out of a Hebrew prayer book, which contained the main Jewish
prayer, Shema Yisrael (Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one God. And you
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
"How should I have interpreted such a 'coincidence' other than as a challenge to live
my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper?"
Later, as Frankl reflected on his ordeal, he wrote in his book Man's search for
Meaning, "There is nothing in the world that would so effectively help one to
survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life
. . .'He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.'"
In my first film series, "Focus on the Family," I shared a story about a
5-year-old African-American boy who will never be forgotten by those who knew him. A nurse
with whom I worked, Gracie Schaeffler, took care of this lad during the latter
days of his
life. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. The
lungs fill with fluid, and the patient is unable to breathe. It is terribly
claustrophobic, especially for a small child.
This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the
long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively,
the woman was preparing her son for the final hours to come. Gracie told me that she entered
his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about hearing
bells. "The bells are ringing, Mommie," he said. "I can hear
Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and
returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells
nurse said to his mother, 'I'm sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren't there.
He is hallucinating because of the sickness."
The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, "No, Miss
Schaeffler. He is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened -- when he couldn't
breathe -- if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing
That is what he's been talking about all day." That precious child died on his
mother's lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven
angels came to take him. What a brave little trooper he was!
Focus on the Family, September, 1993, p. 3.
On February 15, 1947 Glenn Chambers boarded a plane bound for Quito, Ecuador to begin
his ministry in missionary broadcasting. But he never arrived. In a horrible moment, the
plane carrying Chambers crashed into a mountain peak and spiraled downward. Later it was
learned that before leaving the Miami airport, Chambers wanted to write his mother a
letter. All he could find for stationery was a page of advertising on which was written
the single word "WHY?" Around that word he hastily scribbled a final note. After
Chambers's mother learned of her son's death, his letter arrived. She opened the envelope,
took out the paper, and unfolded it. Staring her in the face was the questions
"WHY?" No doubt this was the questions Jesus' disciples asked when He was
arrested, tried, and crucified. And it was probably the questions Joseph of Arimathea
asked himself as he approached Pilate and requested the Lord's body (v.58). It must have
nagged at him as he wrapped the body in a linen cloth, carried it to his own freshly hewn
tomb, and rolled the massive stone into its groove over the tomb's mouth. In the face of
his grief, Joseph carried on. He did what he knew he had to do. None of Jesus' relatives
were in a position to claim His body for burial, for they were all Galileans and none of
them possessed a tomb in Jerusalem. The disciples weren't around to help either.
was another reason for Joseph's act of love. In Isaiah 53:9, God directed the prophet to
record an important detail about the death of His Messiah. The One who had no place to lay
His head would be buried in a rich man's tomb. Joseph probably didn't realize that his act
fulfilled prophecy. The full answer to the why of Jesus' death was also several days away
for Joseph and the others. All he knew was that he was now a disciple of Jesus -- and that
was enough to motivate his gift of love.
Today in the Word, April 18, 1992.
A story by Max Lacado
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by
all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse
like this had never been seen before -- such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.
People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused.
"This horse is not a horse to me," he would tell them. "It is a person. How
could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a
friend?" The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see
him. "You old fool," they scoffed, "we told you that someone would steal
your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever
hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You
could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the
horse is gone, and you've been cursed with misfortune."
The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in
the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I've been cursed or not, how can
you know? How can you judge?"
The people contested, "Don't make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers,
but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact is that your horse is gone is a
The old man spoke again. "All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is
gone. The rest I don't know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can't say. All we can
see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?"
The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always
thought he was a fool; if he wasn't, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money.
But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it
out of the forest and selling it. he lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he
had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.
After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been stolen; he had run away into the
forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again
the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. "Old man, you were right
and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us."
The man responded, "Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back.
State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don't judge. How do you know if this
is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can
you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only
one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?
"Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you
have is a fragment! Don't say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with
what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don't."
"Maybe the old man is right," they said to one another. So they said little.
But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had
returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and
trained and sold for much money.
The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After
a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers
gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.
"You were right," they said. "You proved you were right. The dozen
horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now
in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever."
The old man spoke again. "You people are obsessed with judging. Don't go so far.
Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one
knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments."
It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring
country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of
the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around
the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little
chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing
struggle. They would never see their sons again.
"You were right, old man," they wept. "God knows you were right. This
proves it. Your son's accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is
with you. Our sons are gone forever."
The old man spoke again. "It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw
conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No
one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God
In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado, Word Publishing, 1991,
Commentary and Devotional
Our point of view is crucial when difficult things happen to us. A great example of a
person transforming calamity by his Christlike point of view is David Watson. Watson, a
minister in England, died of cancer before these words of his were published:
"It's sometimes only through suffering that we begin to listen to God. Our natural
pride and self-confidence have to be stripped painfully away and we become aware, perhaps
for the first time, of our own personal needs.
"During the ministry of Jesus on earth, a tower fell in Siloam and killed 18
innocent people. 'Why did God allow it' was the immediate questions pressed by those
around Him. Jesus replied, not by answering the question of suffering nor by giving a
satisfactory solution to this particular tragedy. Instead, He came back to the practical
challenge of God's Word: 'I tell you...unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' It
may sound a little bleak, but Jesus was far more concerned with a person's eternal
well-being than merely satisfying an intellectual curiosity. Here He was dealing not with
the question of 'Why?' but with the question 'What?' 'What is God saying in this
Watson concludes, "Through the unexpected diagnosis of cancer I was forced to
consider carefully my priorities in life and to make some necessary adjustments. I still
do not know why God allowed it, nor does it bother me. But, I am beginning to hear what
God is saying, and this has been enormously helpful to me."
Morning Glory, January 21, 1994.
To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God's will even if
it means suffering is a very different thing. No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he
chooses God's will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. Be merciful to God's
reputation. It is easy to blacken God's character because God never answers back, He never
vindicates Himself. Beware of the thought that Jesus needed sympathy in His earthly life;
He refused sympathy from others because He knew far too wisely that no one on earth
understood what He was going through. Notice God's 'waste' of saints, according to the
judgment of the world. God plants His saints in some of the most useless places. We say,
'God intends me to be here because I am so useful.' Jesus never estimated His life along
the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him most, and we
are no judges at all of where that is.
What problems can do for us:
1. Problems often provide us with greater opportunities
2. Problems can promote our spiritual maturity (Ps 105:16ff)
3. Problems prove our integrity (1 Pt 3:15)
4. Problems produce a sense of dependence
5. Problems prepare our hearts for ministry (more empathetic)
1. Produces character and hope
2. Shows the power of Christ
3. Shows the glory of God
4. Shows what faith can do
5. Teaches dependence on God
6. Enables us to comfort those in trouble
7. Shows the proof of faith
8. Allows us to suffer for the cause of Christ
9. Keeps down pride
10. Suffering can come because of another's sin
11. Suffering can come because we are part of a fallen race
12. Because we reap what we sow
13. For discipline
14. Because of the sovereignty of God
15. Because our enemy wants us to suffer
16. For reasons known only to God
Driving through Texas, a New Yorker collided with a truck carrying a horse. A few
months later he tried to collect damages for his injuries. "How can you now claim to
have all these injuries?" asked the insurance company's lawyer. "According to
the police report, at the time you said you were not hurt." "Look," replied
the New Yorker. "I was lying on the road in a lot of pain, and I heard someone say
the horse had a broken leg. The net thing I know this Texas Ranger pulls out his gun and
shoots the horse. Then he turns to me and asks, 'Are you okay?'"
Reader's Digest, July, 1994, p. 64.
Newspaper reporter phoned a story into his editor about an empty truck that rolled down
a hill and smashed into a home. Editor was unimpressed and told reporter he didn't want to
run the story. "I'm glad you're taking this so calmly. It was your house."
God hath not promised
Skies ever blue,
always for you.
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
But He hath promised
Strength from above,
Out of the Darkness
Out of the dark forbidding soil
The pure white lilies grow.
Out of the black and murky clouds,
Descends the stainless snow.
Out of the crawling earth-bound worm
A butterfly is born.
Out of the somber shrouded night,
Behold! A golden morn!
Out of the pain and stress of life,
The peace of God pours down.
Out of the nails -- the spear -- the cross,
Redemption -- and a crown!