But may the God of all grace,
who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a
while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.—1 Peter 5:10
Charles Simeon, the 19th
century English preacher, in his early years of ministry, was a harsh and
self-assertive man. One day he was visiting a friend, Henry Venn, who was
pastor in a nearby village. When he left to go home, Venn's daughters
complained to their father about his manner.
Venn took the girls to the backyard and
said, “Pick me one of those peaches, he said. It was early summer, and the
peaches were green. The girls asked why he wanted green, unripe fruit. Venn
replied, "Well, my dears, it is green now, and we must wait; but a little
more sun, and a few more showers, and the peach will be ripe and sweet. So it
is with Mr. Simeon.”
in due time, came to know himself and his arrogance. The warmth of God’s love
and the “showers” of opposition, misunderstanding, misrepresentation,
disappointment, and frustration that he experienced became the means by which
he “grew downward in humility and upward in adoration” as he put it. He became
a gentle, humble man.
So the God of all grace works his
enchantment on all his children, humbling the proud and exalting the humble, to
make them ripe and sweet. Our task is to take hold of God’s grace to endure our
afflictions with patience and tranquility, meeting our troubles without growing
weary or running away.
In time he will “perfect, establish, strengthen
and settle you.” us. “Take courage, and wait
for the Lord” (Ps. 26:14).