The Best Timber
But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.Job 23:10
Archibald Rutledge, an American poet and educator, wrote primarily about the outdoors. His articles on hunting appeared in magazines such as Outdoor Life and Field and Stream. He became South Carolina’s first poet laureate and was a runner-up for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Rutledge related a story about a time when, as he was making his daily walk up a mountain path, he met a farmer walking into the mountains with an ax in his hand. He asked the farmer what he was planning to do, and the man replied, “I’m going up to cut some timber because I’m making a wagon.” Rutledge suggested, “Look around you, there is plenty of timber right here in this valley.” The farmer replied, “No. Not that kind. I need the strongest and toughest wood I can get. The kind that only grows up there where the storms hit.”
What a wonderful reminder that is for us. Some of the most important lessons we will ever learn will come from those moments when God allows us to be storm-tested.