A Parable of Slow Suffering

An empty large jar sat disused, neglected for an extended time on a kitchen shelf. It was well made and strong. The glass thicker than most. It was suitable for an abundance of uses, but at this point in time it was not even suited to be an ornament.

He who owned the jar had also made it. He was the master at His craft, universally recognized as without peer.

The jar was generous in size and crafted in precision; fearfully and wonderfully made. The jar's lid was ever so tightly secured on, it could not be twisted. Coating entirely the inside of the empty jar lay a black soot-like lining. It had begun as a grey, but gradually morphed over the many years through various shades of grey until finally it reached a rich black. Absent of any residual transparency this glass jar could not be seen through.

The time arrived when the owner moved it to a new shelf. This shelf enjoyed sunlight all day long. The sun's heat was multiplied daily to the jar by the window pane.

Day after day the sun shone upon the jar. It became distressed at this constant heat, but was never moved to a place of shade. Many of its days felt very, very long. There was little relief from the searing heat.

The weeks turned into months, the months to years. The heated days remained relentless. The evening coolness did little to ease the jar's anguish. The jar was never moved by its owner. The jar thought the master as unkind and negligent. It received no escape from the sunlight, nor its internal torture.

Yet, unknown to the jar, ever so softly through its super-heated days the lid was gradually expanding into its possible release. It was no longer locked immovably tight.

As the years progressed it still sat in sunshine, still ached. And, was still apparently unattended.

Finally the day arrived when the master returned and examined the blackened jar. He took a firm grasp of the jar and its lid. Swiftly and with ease the lid popped free.

The jar 'exploded' from within as the pent up heat rushed out. In just a moment the master reached into this jar with a red damp cloth. With a few swipes of His hand it became cleaned completely, transparent as when He first made it.

Now the jar was again ready for His original intentions, to be filled with many good things that would be of much benefit to itself and to others.

The blackness now gone, the jar now cleansed and refreshed - it was ready and willing to be used by the master of the household again.

The master knew it would take much time and heat before the lid could be opened. 'Pain and suffering are not necessarily signs of God's anger; they may be exactly the opposite'. ~ anon

Today's Soul Snippet:

 'God sometimes has to put us on our backs in order to make us look up.' ~ anon

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