Pain Transmuted into Gladness

Why was it given to one man to have his pain transmuted into gladness? Why was it given to one man to have such awareness of God? And might another, having no such awareness, live with pain that never ended? … And might not another feel also a compulsion, and pray night and day without ceasing, for the restoration of some other valley that would never be restored? 

But his mind would contain it no longer. It was not for man’s knowing. He put it from his mind, for it was a secret. 

Cry, the Beloved Country p. 309

“He put it from his mind, for it was a secret.” A simple rule. But we worry and fret over that which we can’t explain: God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. And instead of rolling over the questions again and again he concluded, “But here were thanks that a man could render till the end of his days.” 

And it’s not as if Kumalo had no grief, no unresolved sadness, that all was bright and rosy and neatly tied up. A lost sister, a lost brother, a lost son. Grief was surely overwhelming at times—most times maybe. But he was able to recognize that God is not silent, not unconcerned, not still. The grief was not chased away. It was heavy and ever present. But so was the pressure of God’s goodness. And that made all the difference. 

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