The village blacksmith was known for his strength and skills. He was also known for his extreme suffering and unending patience. Everyone also admired his deep and abiding faith in God and his love for the Lord.
One day a new resident of the village stopped by to meet and talk with him. Shortly after they began their conversation, the visitor to his shop said, “I understand from the folk in our town that you have great faith in God. But, sir, with all of the pain and suffering you have endured throughout the years, do you believe - deep down in your heart - that He truly loves you?”
“Oh yes,” said the blacksmith, “yes, I do.”
“Prove it then, if you will, because it’s difficult for me to believe,” said the man.
Picking up a piece of metal, the blacksmith said, “For me to make something useful of this metal, I must put it into the fire and allow the heat to make it soft. Then I must put it on the anvil and hammer it with blow after blow if it is to become a useful item. Unless I heat it until it is soft, and then hammer it until it takes shape and becomes something useful, it is worthless.”
When days are difficult and nights have no guiding lights, it is not because God wants to confuse or harm us. It is because He loves us and has a unique plan for each of us to fulfill – and He is preparing us to fill it. In times of doubt, visit the Garden of Gethsemane.
Prayer: Lord, even Your Son experienced a time in His life when He openly asked, “Is there possibly another way.” And, when there was none, He accepted the “heat.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mark 15