~ I so like this devotional by John Piper, that I am going to wholesale cut and paste it here. Click on the image here to go to the original page:
Some of you are going through things right now that are painfully preparing you for some precious service to the Lord and to his people. When a person strikes rock bottom with a sense of nothingness or helplessness he may find that he has struck the Rock of Ages.
I remember a delicious sentence from Psalm 138 that we read at our breakfast devotions last Saturday: “Though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly.” You cannot sink so low in despairing of your own resources that God does not see and care. In fact he is at the bottom waiting to catch you. As Moses says, “The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Yes, he sees you trembling and slipping. He could (and often did) grab you before you hit bottom. But this time he has some new lessons to teach. The psalmist said in Psalm 119:71, “It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes.” He does not say it was easy or fun or pleasant. In retrospect he simply says, “It was good for me.”
I was reading a book by a Scottish minister last week. This James Stewart said, “In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.” That’s why I believe some of you are being prepared for some precious service of love right now. Because you are being wounded. Do not think that your wound has come to you apart from God’s gracious design. Remember His word: “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god besides Me…I wound and I heal…” (Deuteronomy 32:39).
I am praying for you all who groan under your burden. And I am eagerly looking for the new tenderness of love God is imparting to you even now.
Feb 10, 1981