HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 4:1).
This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement.
And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true? It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.” We all feel that what Joseph needed for his soul was just the iron. He had seen only the glitter of the gold. He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams, and dreaming hardens the heart. He who sheds tears over a romance will not be most apt to help reality; real sorrow will be too unpoetic for him. We need the iron to enlarge our nature. The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience. The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain. That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal.
My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne. I want you to take note of the progress of Joseph on the road to success. You can not lift the iron load of thy brother or sister if the iron has not entered into you. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfilment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings, yes brethren wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain.
If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he had never been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck. So think when you wear that pectoral cross and chain about your neck. Have you ever been bound and is now set free? Think when you get dressed and turn up your nose at the other person because you may look better in your apparel. Consider what had happened to Joseph and by whom? Look to see the purpose and see if that is playing in your life.