THE MISSION OF SUFFERING

O flower standing in thy beauty

Displaying all thy colors fair;

Thou must yet be bruised and broken

To scatter forth thy fragrance rare.

 

When cruel hands have sadly crushed thee,

Thy beauty trampled to the ground;

Then lo, thy precious, hidden odor

Will shed influence all around.

 

Even the one who sought to harm thee,

To wantonly destroy thy bloom

Will wondering turn again to bless thee,

And breathe anew thy rich perfume.

 

Sweet flower, I have learned a lesson

Taught by the Bible from of old

How crushing sorrow, cruel suffering

Consumes the dross, refines the gold.

 

O child of God, cast down in sorrow

So hard for thee to understand,

Look up, and trust thy Heavenly Father

It is his loving, molding hand

 

That deals with thee in highest wisdom

And truest love from day to day;

He only seeks to perfect by suffering

Then sweetly let him have his way.

 

He will make of thee a chosen vessel;

Ages to come will know thy worth,

Thy name will shine with saints and martyrs

With all the excellent of earth.

 

We have prayed to be like the Savior,

Beloved, we can never be

Unless we drink the cup of suffering

And share his grief and agony.

 

If like him here, we learn obedience

By the pain and suffering we must bear

Remember well the wondrous promise

Like him in heaven-- his glory share.

 

--Ida M. Roberts

Schriever, La.

April 1920.

 

Source:  John R. Roberts, Bella Vista, AR, October 5, 2011.