Monday, September 02, 2002

As I reflect a little more on Spurgeon's comment which I posted below about affliction being "the best book in a minister's library" I'm reminded of what Dr. David Calhoun, my Church History professor at Covenant Seminary, said to me, when he preached at my ordination service nearly a year ago. Dr. Calhoun exhorted me from Martin Luther's three elements that make a good pastor, which are: oratio, meditatio, tentatio -- prayer, study, trials.

Luther who faced untold opposition and buried his fourteen year old daughter was acquainted with suffering. Spurgeon was well acquainted with affliction, having suffered bouts of depression, kidney inflammation and gout. Dr. Calhoun, too, has suffered with cancer for more than 10 years. These men all stand and say to me with gravity that trials must come and do their work in order that I may do the work of the ministry. I'd be lying if I said that I look forward to the trials that God may indeed send my way. I'm not eager to face opposition, or grave and painful illnesses, and I don't know how I could bury one of my own children -- yet I pray that whatever trials God may see fit to send my way that He will sustain me and preserve my trust in Him.

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