The chastening of love!
(Octavius Winslow, "Morning Thoughts")
Oh, could we always analyze the 'embittered cup'--how astonished would we be to find that in the bitterest draught that ever touched our lips, the principal ingredient was love!
Love saw the discipline needful.
Love selected the chastisement sent.
Love appointed the instrument by which it should come.
Love arranged the circumstances by which it should take place.
Love fixed the time when it should transpire.
Love heard the sigh.
Love saw the tear.
Love marked the anguish.
Love never for one moment withdrew its beaming eye from the sufferer.
Alas! how much is this truth overlooked by the disciplined and suffering believer!
Think, suffering child of God, of the many consoling, alleviating, and soothing circumstances connected with your chastisement. Think of . . .
the many divine supports,
the precious promises,
the tenderness of God,
the gentleness of Christ,
and all this will demonstrate to you that this is the chastening of love!
Welcome your trials; they are sent by your Father.
Welcome the stroke of His rod; it is a Parent smiting.
Welcome whatever detaches you from earth, and wings your spirit heavenward.
Welcome the furnace that consumes the dross and the tin, and brings out the precious gold and silver, to reflect in your soul, even now, the dawnings of future glory.
Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet, under God's chastening and afflicting hand!