Have you learned your lesson so badly?
(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"All is vexation of spirit!" Ecclesiastes 1:14
Who has not felt vexation?
Who knows not what it means?
The infant in its cradle,
the schoolboy at his play;
youth in all its vitality,
manhood in its prime,
and especially old age —
all, all have felt vexation!
My soul, you know it well! Your sins, your fallen nature, your infirmities — all lay you open to vexation.
How easily irritated you get!
How quick to feel offenses!
How swift to gather sorrows to yourself through your excess of sensitivity!
Often have you murmured at your lot, rising in mutiny against your Maker!
How often has your patience failed!
What trifles have often wounded you!
Some scheme of pleasure has been thwarted — and you were quite vexed!
A rainy day, or even some trifling inconvenience — has often ruffled your composure.
How often a kind reproof, a friendly warning — some imagined slight — a look — a smile withheld, and yet with no intention of unkindness — has filled you with vexation!
How often has . . .
a humbling sense of your infirmities;
a deep conviction of your lack of judgment;
the fear of standing low in man's opinion
— vexed you beyond expression!
My soul, you are not singular in your vexation. Go where you will, you will find it. The world is full of vexation. "All is vexation of spirit!"
This does not mean that . . .
woes may lawfully be brooded over, or
sense of injuries may be cherished in the soul, or
that morbid feelings may be indulged in, or
that moody silence, brooding vexation, and carking care — are healthful for the soul! Oh, no!
If God is true, if Scripture precept has its weight, and promises their meaning — then vexation, O my soul, should have no part in you! Open you must be to its trials day by day. But . . .
where is your grace;
where is your holiness;
where is your consistency;
where is your strength, your comfort, and your steadfastness
— if you are conquered by vexation?
Have you, then, learned of Christ, the lowly and the meek One — and not found rest for your soul? (Matthew 11:29.) Have you learned your lesson so badly? Go, learn it over again. Fight, then, against this habit of vexation. Give it no place within you. Look to the Comforter to help you. Taste the tranquility of God. Take every trial, as it rises, to Jesus, your Savior-Friend. Then peace shall be your portion — not vexation.
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid!" John 14:27
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!" Philippians 4:7