“Every Cup Stirred by the Finger of God”

By Evan D. Burns

Adoniram Judson wrote an afflicted fellow-missionary, Mr. Osgood.  His encouraging words demonstrate that he himself had choked down the bitterness of suffering and had savored the sweetness of heavenly promises.  Judson’s way of ministering to this grief-stricken brother grew out of trusting in God’s heavenly promises in spite of his own bitter trials.

So the light in your dwelling has gone out, my poor brother, and it is all darkness there, only as you draw down by faith some faint gleams of the light of heaven; and coldness has gathered round your hearth-stone; your house is probably desolate, your children scattered, and you a homeless wanderer over the face of the land.  We have both tasted of these bitter cups once and again; we have found them bitter, and we have found them sweet too.  Every cup stirred by the finger of God becomes sweet to the humble believer.  Do you remember how our late wives, and sister Stevens, and perhaps some others, used to cluster around the well-curb in the mission compound at the close of day?  I can almost see them sitting there, with their smiling faces, as I look out of the window at which I am now writing.  Where are ours now?  Clustering around the well-curb of the fountain of living water, to which the Lamb of heaven shows them the way—reposing in the arms of infinite love, who wipes away all their tears with His own hand.

Let us travel on and look up.  We shall soon be there. As sure as I write or you read these lines, we shall soon be there.  Many a weary step we may yet have to take, but we shall surely get there at last.  And the longer and more tedious the way, the sweeter will be our repose.[1]

 [1]Edward Judson, The Life,521-522;  Wayland, Memoir, 2:328-329.


Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.