Light is always costly and comes at the expense of that which produces it. An unlit candle does not shine, for burning must come before the light. And we can be of little use to others without a cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering, and we try to avoid pain.
We tend to feel we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong and fit for active duty and when our hearts and hands are busy with kind acts of service. Therefore when we are set aside to suffer, when we are sick, when we are consumed with pain and when all our activities have been stopped, we feel we are no longer of any use and are accomplishing nothing.
Yet if we will be patient and submissive, it is almost certain we will be a greater blessing to the world around us during our time of suffering and pain than we were when we thought we were doing our greatest work. Then we are burning, and shining brightly as a result of the fire.
[from Evening Thoughts]
The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today.
Many people want the glory without the cross and the shining light without the burning fire, but crucifixion comes before coronation.
Build a little fence of trust
Fill the space with loving work
And therein stay.
Look not through the protective rails
God will help you bear what comes
Of joy or sorrow.
~ Mary Butts ~