It seems there were many hymn writers who bore the burden of the loss of their physical sight. Of course, Fanny Crosby comes to mind. This wonderful woman wrote hundreds of hymns including one of my favorites, “Blessed Assurance.” Another great preacher and hymn writer, George Matheson, lost his sight at an early age. He thought of that infirmity as his thorn in the flesh, even as his personal cross. For several years, he prayed that his blindness would be removed. One day God sent him a new insight: The creative use of his handicap could actually become his personal means of achieving happiness.
This is what Matheson wrote, “My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross, but I have never thought of the cross itself as a present glory. Teach me the glory of my cross. Teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.”
Is there some area in your life that brings you continued hardship? One of my personal crosses is diabetes. Every day I have to check my sugar and give myself insulin shots. It isn’t fun at all. Yet, I know that the Lord has used my diabetes to minister to others who daily battle a chronic illness. I pray that you will take your personal area of hardship to the Lord today and ask Him to make it a rainbow.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder