Dark Clouds

The deaf often have an unusual quickness of eyesight;
the blind are often gifted with an increased capacity for hearing;

We see sometimes when the eye is darkened & the ear is closed, so the sense of touch
can become so exquisite that we are able to converse with the sufferer through that sense alone.
This principle explains why God puts many under a sharp regimen of hardship & burden-bearing
in order that we be sinewed into strength;

Joseph must be shut into a prison in order that he may be trained for a palace & for leadership
of the kingdom.

Outside of the Damascus Gate the spot where Stephen was stoned into a cruel death;
is that martyr blood that’s the “seed of the Church,” and the first germ of conviction
in the heart of Saul of Tarsus.

This principle explains the reason why God often sweeps away a our possessions to
make us rich in faith & why He dashes us off the track of prosperity, in order that our pride
might be crushed & that we might seek the safer track of humility & supernatural living. …

We are never so exalted as when they are brought low, never so enriched as when we are emptied,
never so advanced as when we are set back by adversity, never so near the crown as when we are
under the cross.

One of the sweetest enjoyments of heaven will be to review our own experiences under this principle
of compensations, and to see how often affliction worked out for us the exceeding weight of glory.

There is a great want in us who have never had the education of sharp trial.
There are so many graces that can only be pricked into us by the puncture of suffering,
and so many lessons that can only be learned through tears, that when God leaves us
without any trials, He really leaves us to a terrible danger.

Our heart, unplowed by discipline, will be very apt to run to the tares of selfishness & pride.
In a musical instrument there are some keys that must be touched in order to evoke its
fullest melodies; God is a wonderful organist, who knows just what heart-chord to strike.

In the Black Forest of Germany a baron built a castle with two lofty towers.
From one tower to the other he stretched several wires, which in calm weather
were motionless and silent.

When the wind began to blow, the wires began to play like an Eolian harp in the window.
As the wind rose into a fierce gale, the old baron sat in his castle and heard his mighty
hurricane-harp playing grandly over the battlements.
So, while the weather is calm & the skies clear, a great many of the emotions of our heart are silent.

As soon as the wind of adversity smites the chords, the heart begins to play;
when God sends a hurricane of terrible trial we will hear strains of submission & faith & even
of sublime confidence & holy exultation, which could never have been heard in the calm
hours of prosperity.

We have to let the winds smite us, if they only make the spices flow; let us not shrink
from the deepest trial, if at midnight we can only sing praises to God.

If we want to know what clouds of affliction mean and what they are sent for,
we must not flee away from them in fright with closed ears & bandaged eyes.
Fleeing from the cloud is fleeing from the Divine love that is behind the cloud.

By Theodore Cuyler

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