If He appoints otherwise!
(John Newton's Letters)
My dear friends,
We sympathize with you in what you must feel for dear Rebecca's illness. You know that the Lord has an absolute right to dispose of all His creatures as He sees fit. As sinners — we have no rights. As believing pardoned sinners — we can have no reason to complain.
I trust that Rebecca's illness is sanctified to give her nearer, deeper, and more precious views of the truths which she learned while in health. As low as she is brought, the Lord can raise her with a word; and He will — if it is for His glory and her best benefit. If He appoints otherwise, He can make her last days her best days — and enable you to cheerfully resign her to Him. Whether she lives or dies — she is the Lord's. The time is short — and we hope to follow her to a better world, where there will be no more sin or sorrow or painful separation!
You know that the sovereignty of God toward His people is not arbitrary. It is connected with a wisdom which can make no mistakes — and a love which can give no unnecessary pain to those for whom He died upon the cross.
If we are in heaviness — then there is a need-be for it, and it is but for a season. His thoughts and ways are high above ours. What we do not know now — we shall know hereafter. Even now, we may be sure that He does all things well. May His gracious presence be with you — and then you will be able to rejoice, even in tribulation.