'Trouble is a Servant' is a poem by John Wright Follette, from the book his book “Broken Bread”.
I first heard the poem years ago when doing a 'Living Wisdom' course run by David Riddell, and I've often reflected on the poem and found it incredibly insightful and encouraging. So I thought it would be good to blog it in the hope that it's a blessing and encouragement to others.
Trouble Is A Servant
“All of us know trouble – at least I hope we do;
Trouble is a servant, but known as such to few.
We are taught to shun her and, if she comes too near,
Seldom do we face her but run away in fear.
Good and bad must meet her, the universe around –
Sinners, saints, kings and knaves – she comes where man is found.
Always make her serve you, for she can serve you well;
Just HOW you may use her your life will always tell.
Trouble is but passive – it’s by our power to will
We make her either bless us or do the soul some ill.
How do you translate her from phrases filled with pain
To messages of strength – from loss to endless gain?
By faith we see behind the outer frightful mask
A servant in disguise, to do a gracious task.
Hearts may feel her wounding and life may suffer loss;
Faith translates her working, as freeing gold from dross.
Trouble will discover to any yielded heart
Hidden depths of power it only knew in part;
Sympathizing power, and love that understands;
Strength to help another with trouble-tested hands.
Trouble will release you from self and make you kind,
Adding new dimensions to heart and soul and mind.
Do not shun this servant, but look beyond her task
To beauty she will work – for which you daily ask.
Always see in trouble a chance to grow in grace,
Not a stroke of evil to hinder in your race.
Live the life triumphant above her fiery darts;
Rich fruitage will be yours to share with needy hearts.”