When God Wants To Drill A Man
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out-
God knows what He’s about.
THIS POEM REALLY SPOKE TO ME WHEN I HEARD IT REFERENCED BY JONI EARECKSON TADA IN A RECENT YOUTUBE (‘TED TALK’ ?). I READ HER VERY FIRST BOOK “JONI” AS A TEEN I THINK AND SHE HAS OVER 100 WRITTEN WORKS SINCE THEN. SHE HAS 8 HONORARY DEGREES AND 22 AWARDS FOR HER INCREDIBLE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION IN MANY MANY FIELDS. WIKIPEDIA WRITES :
Tada lived a very active life all through her growing up years. She enjoyed riding horses, hiking, tennis, and swimming. On July 30, 1967, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water. She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic (or tetraplegic), paralyzed from the shoulders down.
During Tada’s two years of rehabilitation, according to her autobiography Joni, she experienced anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and religious doubts. However, during occupational therapy, she learned to paint with a brush between her teeth and began selling her artwork. She also writes this way, although for most writing tasks she relies on voice recognition software…… Tada founded Joni and Friends in 1979, an organization to “accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community” throughout the world. In 2007 the Joni and Friends International Disability Center in Agoura Hills, California, was established.
JONI (PRONOUNCED ” JOHNNY” …NAMED AFTER HER FATHER) SPENDS HER LIFE ENRICHING THE FAITH OF MANY LIKE MYSELF WHO SUFFER FROM ANY SORT OF DISABILITY AND PAIN.
JONI’S LIFE HAS ALSO INCLUDED TWO BOUTS OF CANCER OF WHICH SHE IS CURRENTLY FREE BUT HER SUFFERING CONTINUES WITH CHRONIC PAIN AND OF COURSE BEING COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON OTHERS TO MOVE. BUT SHE IS MOST DEPENDENT ON GOD AND GIVES All OF US THE REMINDER THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR PAIN.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE IN PAIN AND STILL BE HAPPY? WHAT IF WE LOSE A LOVED ONE TO DEATH, DIVORCE? WHAT IF WE SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PAIN ? DEPRESSION? CAN WE STILL SMILE EVERY DAY? JONI SAYS THAT THERE IS A POWER IN SUFFERING AND THAT THE PROMISES OF JESUS RENEW HER LIFE. I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE.
THESE CROSSES CAN BRING US THE JOY OF BEING CLOSE TO THE ONE WHO HAS HIMSELF BEEN THROUGH HELL AND DIED TO GIVE US THE HOPE OF HEAVEN. HE SENDS HIS HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP US FIND PEACE DESPITE THE PAIN AND THROUGH OUR PAIN WE CAN ‘DIE TO THE SINS THAT HE DIED FOR’.
INSPIRED BY JONI, I’LL ALSO LEAVE YOU WITH THE WORDS OF HELEN ROSEVEARE ….
“Could I see that God wanted to transform my life from a somewhat ugly, useless branch to an arrow, a tool usable in His hands, for the furtherance of His purposes?….To be thus transformed, was I willing – am I till willing – for the whittling, sandpapering, stripping, processes necessary in my Christian life? The ruthless pulling off of leaves and flowers might include doing without a television set or washing machine, remaining single in order to see a job done, re-evaluating the worthiness of the ambition to be a “good” doctor (according to my terms and values). The snapping of thorns might include drastic dealing with hidden jealousies and unknown prides, giving up prized rights in leadership and administration. The final stripping of the bark might include lessons to be learned regarding death to self – self-defence,self-pity, self-justification, self-vinidication, self-sufficiency, all the mechanisms of preventing the hurt of too deep involvment. Am I prepared for the pain, which may at times seem like sacrifice, in order to be made a tool in His service? My willingness will be a measure of the sincerity of my desire to express my heartfelt gratitude to Him for his so-great salvation. Can I see such minor “sacrifices” in light of the great sacrifice of Calvary, where Christ gave all for me?”
― Helen Roseveare, Living Sacrifice: Willing to Be Whittled as an Arrow