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We Went Through Fire and Water

"We went through fire and through water: but You brought us to a place of abundance." 
(Psalm 66:12)

It may seem paradoxical, but the only person who is at rest has achieved it through conflict.  This peace, born of conflict, is not like the ominous lull before the storm but like the serenity and quietness following the storm, with its fresh, purified air.

The person who may appear to be blessed, having been untouched by sorrow, is typically not one who is strong and at peace.  His qualities have never been tested, and he does not know how he would handle even a minor setback.

The safest sailor is certainly not one who has never weathered a storm.  He may be right for fair-weather sailing, but when a storm arises, wouldn't you want an experienced sailor at the critical post?  Wouldn't you want one at the helm who has fought through a gale and who knows the strength of the ship's hull and rigging, and how the anchor may be used to grasp the rocks of the ocean floor?

(from Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman)
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Jonathan Herron