We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong.
However, when we are called aside and can only suffer, when we are sick; when we are consumed with pain, when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use. But, if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work.
Have you heard the tale of the aloe plant, away in the sunny clime?
By humble growth of a hundred years it reaches its blooming time;
And then a wonderous bud at its crown breaks into a thousand flowers;
But the plant to the flower is sacrificed, for it blooms but once, and it dies.
Have you further heard of the aloe plant that grows in the sunny clime;
How every one of its thousand flowers as they drop in the blooming time
Is an infant plant that fastens its roots in the place when it falls on the ground.
And as fast as they drop from the dying stem grow lively and lovely around?
By dying it liveth a thousand-fold in the young that spring from the death of the old.
Selected from Streams in the Desert