"Nevertheless afterward" (Heb. 12:11).
There is a legend that tells of a German baron who, at his castle on the Rhine, stretched wires from tower to tower, that the winds might convert them into an Aeolian harp. And the soft breezes played about the castle, but no music was born.
But one night there arose a great tempest, and hill and castle were smitten by the fury of the mighty winds. The baron went to the threshold to look out upon the terror of the storm, and the Aeolian harp was filling the air with strains that rang out even above the clamor of the tempest. It needed the tempest to bring out the music!
And have we not known men whose lives have not given out any entrancing music in the day of a calm prosperity, but who, when the tempest drove against them have astonished their fellows by the power and strength of their music?
"Rain, rain Beating against the pane! How endlessly it pours Out of doors From the blackened sky I wonder why!
"Flowers, flowers, Upspringing after showers, Blossoming fresh and fair, Everywhere! Ah, God has explained Why it rained!"
You can always count on God to make the "afterward" of difficulties, if rightly overcome, a thousand times richer and fairer than the forward. "No chastening . . . seemeth joyous, nevertheless afterward . . ." What a yield!
The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.