by Octavius Winslow
When we grow wanton, or worldly, or proud, how
does sickness or some other affliction humble us.
Perhaps nothing possesses so detaching, so
divorcing an effect in the experience of the
Christian as affliction.
The world is a great snare to the child of
Its rank is a snare;
its possessions are a snare;
its honors are a snare;
its enterprises are a snare;
the very duties and engagements of daily life are a
snare to one whose heart would desire to be more
frequently and exclusively where Jesus, its treasure is.
Oh, how the things that are seen veil the things
that are not seen! How do temporal things banish
from our thought and affections and desires, the
things that are eternal!
God in His wisdom and mercy, sends us trials
to detach us from earth; to lessen our worldly
mindedness; to more deeply convince us how
empty and insufficient are all created things.
He chastens us to intensify our affection for spiritual
things, and to bring our souls nearer to Himself.
Oh, when the heart is chastened and subdued by
sorrow, when the soul is smitten and humbled by
adversity, when death bereaves, or sickness invades,
or resources narrow, or calamity in one of its many
crushing forms lands heavily upon us, how solemn,
how earnest, how distinct is the voice of our ascended
Redeemer, "Set your affections on things above,
not on things of the earth. I am your Treasure,
your Portion, your All. I have stricken, and wounded
and laid you low; but I will comfort, heal, and raise
you up again. You will soon be with Me in glory.
Let this trial detach the world from you, wean you
from your idols, and transfer your affections to Me."