"When God puts a burden upon you, He puts His own hand underneath."

There is a little plant, small and stunted, growing
under the shade of a broad-spreading oak:
and this little plant values the shade which covers it,
and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which covers it,
and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which its noble
friend affords. But a blessing is designed for this little, plant.

Once upon a time there came along a woodsman, and with his sharp ax, he felled the oak. the plant wept and cried.

"My shelter is departed; every rough wind will blow upon me, and every storm will seek to uproot me."

"No, no," said the Angel of the Flower,
"now will the sun get to thee,
now will the shower fall on thee,
in more copious abundance then before;
now thy stunted form shall spring up into loveliness,
and thy flower, which could never have expanded itself to its perfection
shall now laugh in the sunshine, and men shall say,
"How greatly has that plant increased!
How glorious has become its beauty
through the removal of that which was its shade and its delight!"

"See you not, then, that God may take away your comforts and your
privileges, to make you the better Christian?
Why the Lord always trains His soldiers,
not by letting them lie on feather-beds,
but by turning them out,
and using them to forced marches and hard service."

"God makes them ford through streams
and swim through rivers, and climb mountains,
walk many a long marches with heavy knapsacks
of sorrow on their backs.
This is how He brings us the grace and makes us grow.
This is how He makes us conquerors.
Just as He sends the powerful winds,
to test the oak tree,
He also, sends the storms to test us
and make us strong like the mighty-oak."

                    From:  The Depths of Death Row