(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")
To the true believer, afflictions are blessings
in disguise. Every trial is intended for my good.
My foolish heart would be too much attached
to earth if the spade were not inserted to
loosen the fibers, and disengage the root,
that when transplanted, I may bear a richer
fruit in the Paradise above.
My heavenly Father, whose love and wisdom
are infinite, knows exactly what I need, and
how much suffering is needed to promote the
spirituality of my mind.
Shall I then repine at his dispensations of love?
A murmuring spirit increases every evil.
It doubles the affliction.
It adds a sting to sorrow.
If our hearts are in heaven, the trials of earth
will be light and momentary, for love can
sweeten every care, and lighten every cross.
A Savior's love disarms affliction of its sting.
Oh! that we may learn wisdom by every
dispensation of Providence; and yield more
fruit by every application of the pruning knife!
The divine husbandman prunes every branch
in Christ, that it may bring forth more fruit.