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