Allow me to share a quotation from Jeremiah Burroughs’ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.
“As it is with a vessel that’s full of liquor, if you strike it, it will make not great noise, but if it is empty then it makes a great noise; so it is with the heart, a heart that is full of grace and goodness within will bear a great many strokes, and never make any noise, but if an empty heart is struck it will make a noise.”
Burroughs is talking about a Christian’s contentment in the midst of affliction, both long standing and sudden. This is a text that is continually proving to be difficult for me to wrestle though. It’s something like picking a scab—it feels uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but for some reason you just can’t help but do it. That’s the way I feel about this book. Burroughs’ observation here is yet another that resounds in my ear and won’t go quietly. A person, when filled with affection for God and grace from God, bears up under all kinds of difficult circumstances peacefully. Without complaining. In fact, not only not complaining, but rejoicing.
These are difficult words to digest. These are difficult concepts to digest. That is not my manner in the midst of trials. How can we come by the affection for God and the grace from God that Burroughs mentions here?