This fallen world affects all creatures,
Saint and sinner, with the bread
Of hard affliction—mournful soul-ache,
Unjust judgment, creeping dread.
But the God of all creation
Has engineered a hidden path
Wherein the sweetest, purest pleasures
In affliction may be had.
The wise are found in those dark mine shafts
Sifting ore from worthless slag,
While the torrents of life’s hardships
Fall like oil upon their heads.
And the key into this pathway
Where God’s favorites know to hide
Is the simple abjuration
Of any form of human pride.
The sons of God receive misfortune
As by the hand of Providence,
And pray that God would use affliction
To relieve their hearts of sin.
And by this trick of humble bending
All the world can be transformed:
The doors of heaven are blasted open,
And Christ the King comes forth, adorned
With crown and robe and royal scepter,
A golden sash around his chest.
And by his cross confers upon you
The robe of his own righteousness.
Then, as you look, a door will open
Where there was no door before,
Opened by the mild reception
Of hardship as the gift of God.
Now look up from your circumstances;
Recall that all folks’ lives are thus.
Saints and sinners bear affliction,
But only some are changed by God.
Though these light and fleeting hardships
May obscure the coming troves,
Don’t forget the scripture’s promise:
God only disciplines whom he loves.
Face the storm that stands before you;
Cling to God, your truest friend;
Confess that there is sin that blinds you;
Give up your pride, and bend.