And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord…
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things. Far up the mountain side lies a block of granite, and says to itself, "How happy am I in my serenity — above the winds, above the trees, almost above the flight of the birds! Here I rest, age after age, and nothing disturbs me." Yet what is it? It is only a bare block of granite, jutting out of the cliff, and its happiness is the happiness of death. By and by comes the miner, and with strong and repeated strokes he drills a hole in its top, and the rock says, "What does this mean?" Then the black powder is poured in, and with a blast that makes the mountain echo, the block is blown asunder, and goes crashing down into the valley. "Ah!" it exclaims as it falls, "why this rending?" Then come saws to cut and fashion it; and humbled now, and willing to be nothing, it is borne away from the mountain and conveyed to the city. Now it is chiselled and polished, till, at length, finished in beauty, by block and tackle it is raised, with mighty hoistings, high in air, to be the top-stone on some monument of the country's glory. So God Almighty casts a man down when He wants to chisel him, and the chiselling is always to make him something finer and better than he was before.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: