Blessed is he whose faith is not offended,
When all around His way
The power of God is working deliverance
For others day by day;
Though in some prison drear his own soul languish,
Till life itself be spent,
Yet still can trust his Father's love and purpose,
And rest therein content.
Blessed is he, who through long years of suffering,
Cut off from active toil,
Still shares by prayer and praise the work of others,
And thus "divides the spoil."
Blessed are thou, O child of God, who sufferest,
And canst not understand
The reason of for thy pain, yet gladly leavest
Thy life in His blest Hand.
Yea, blessed art thou whose faith is "not offended"
By trials unexplained,
By mysteries unsolved, past understanding,
Until the goal is gained.
- Freda Hanbury Allen
I found the above poem to be very meaningful to me. There are days when I have felt totally imprisoned, when I feel like I'm not where I want to be in life or when I have a desire to be apart of certain ministry opportunities and for one reason or another the door is shut. The fact that we are followers of Christ does not exclude us from pain, suffering, temptations, or unfortunate circumstances, and just because we strive to follow holiness, faith and purity doesn't mean it's gonna be easy and life is gonna go just as we may desire, and even pray for it to be. On the contrary, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but (praise God,) the LORD delivereth him out of them all." (Ps 34:19) Jesus indicated that following Him would be difficult when He told His disciples "blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." (Luke 7:23) He will ask hard things of us. Yet, His grace is there to sustain us in those difficulties and His peace passeth all understanding when we yield our wills to His. How often I have found myself where I have least desired, and the circumstances have pressed sore against me. Yet, through every dark valley comes a beam of sunlight and just when I have felt that I couldn't take another step He shows me His love in new and deeper ways than I had ever known before.
When every prop is taken out from under you, when hopes are dashed, when darkness surrounds you, or you feel imprisoned, let's look to the eyes of our loving Saviour. He knows the meaning of suffering, of pain and afflictions, and He will not leave us comfortless.