I once visited the testing room of a large steel mill. I was surrounded
by instruments and equipment that tested pieces of steel
to their limits and measured their breaking point. Some pieces
had been twisted until they broke, and then were labelled with the
level of pressure they could withstand. Some had been stretched
to their breaking point, with their level of strength also noted.
Others had been compressed to their crushing point and measured.
Because of the testing,the manager of the mill knew exactly
how much stress and strain each piece of steel could endure if
it was used to build a ship, building, or bridge.
It is often much the same with God’s children. He does not
want us to be like fragile vases of glass or porcelain. He wants
us to be like these toughened pieces of steel, able to endure
twisting and crushing pressure to the utmost without collapse.
God does not want us to be like greenhouse plants, which
are sheltered from rough weather, but like storm-beaten oaks;
not like sand dunes that are driven back and forth by every gust
of wind but like granite mountains that withstand the fiercest
storms. Yet to accomplish this, He must take us into His testing
room of suffering. And many of us need no other argument
than our own experiences to prove that suffering is indeed
God’s testing room of faith.
It is quite easy for us to talk and to theorize about faith,
but God often puts us into His crucible of affliction to test the
purity of our gold and to separate the dross from the metal.
How happy we are if the hurricanes that blow across life’s raging
sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious to us! It
is better to weather the storm with Christ than to sail smooth
waters without Him.
What if God could not manage to mature your life without suffering?