All For The Best!

Hannah More
 

"It is all for the best," said Mrs. Simpson, whenever any misfortune befell her. She had got such a habit of vindicating God's Providence, that instead of weeping and wailing under the most trying dispensations, her chief care was to convince herself and others, that however great might be her sufferings, and however little they could be accounted for at present yet that the Judge of all the earth could not but do right. Instead of trying to clear herself from any possible blame that might attach to her under those misfortunes which, to speak after the manner of men, she might seem not to have deserved she was always the first to justify Him who had inflicted it.

It was not that she superstitiously converted every afflictive visitation into a punishment; she entertained more correct ideas of that God who overrules all events. She knew that some calamities were sent to exercise her faith, others to purify her heart; some to chastise her rebellious will, and all to remind her that this world was not her rest that this world was not the scene for the full and final display of retributive justice. The honor of God was dearer to her than her own credit, and her chief desire was to turn all events to his glory.

Though Mrs. Simpson was the daughter of a clergyman, and the widow of a genteel tradesman, she had been reduced by a succession of misfortunes, to accept of a room in an almshouse. Instead of repining at the change; instead of dwelling on her former gentility, and saying, "how handsomely she had lived once; and how hard it was to be reduced; and she little thought ever to end her days in an alms-house" which is the common language of those who were ever so well off before she was thankful that such an asylum was provided for poverty and old age; and blessed God that it was to the Christian dispensation alone that such pious institutions owed their birth.

One fine evening, as she was sitting reading her Bible on the little bench shaded with honey-suckles, just before her door who should come and sit down by her but Betty, who had formerly been a maid at the nobleman's house in the village of which Mrs. Simpson's father had been minister. Betty, after a life of vanity, was, by a train of misfortunes, brought to this very alms-house; and though she had taken no care by frugality and prudence to avoid it she thought it a hardship and disgrace, instead of being thankful, as she ought to have been, for such a retreat.

At first she did not know Mrs. Simpson her large bonnet, cloak, and plain brown gown (for she always made her appearance conform to her circumstances) being very different from the dress she had been used to wear when Betty had seen her dining at the great house and time and sorrow had much altered her countenance. But when Mrs. Simpson kindly addressed her as an old acquaintance, she screamed with surprise, "What! you, madam?" cried she; "you in an alms-house, living on charity; you, who used to be so charitable yourself, that you never allowed any distress in the parish which you could prevent?"

"That may be one reason, Betty," replied Mrs. Simpson, "why Providence has provided this refuge for my old age. And my heart overflows with gratitude when I look back on his goodness."

"No such great goodness, methinks," said Betty; "why, you were born and bred a lady and are now reduced to live in an alms-house!"

"Betty, I was born and bred a sinner, undeserving of the mercies I have received."

"No such great mercies," said Betty. "Why, I heard you had been turned out of doors; that your husband became broke; and that you had been in danger of starving."

"It is all true, Betty, glory be to God! it is all true."

"Well," said Betty, "you are an odd sort of a gentlewoman. If from a prosperous condition I had been made a bankrupt, a widow, and a beggar I would have thought it no such mighty matter to be thankful for but there is no accounting for taste. The neighbors used to say that all your troubles must needs be a judgment upon you; but I who knew how good you were, thought it very hard that you should suffer so much. And now that I see you reduced to an alms-house, I beg your pardon, madam but I am afraid the neighbors were in the right, and that so many misfortunes could never have happened to you without you had committed a great many sins to deserve them. For I always thought that God is so just that he punishes us for all our bad actions, and rewards us for all our good ones."

"So he does, Betty but he does it in his own way, and at his own time, and not according to our notions of good and evil for his ways are not as our ways. God, indeed, punishes the wicked, and rewards the godly but he does not do it fully and finally in this world. Indeed he does not set such a value on external things as to make riches, and rank, and beauty, and health, the reward of piety that would be acting like weak and erring men, and not like a just and holy God. Our belief in a future state of rewards and punishments is not always so strong as it ought to be, even now but how totally would our faith fail, if God mad everything right in this world. We shall lose nothing by having pay-day put off until the final accounting. The longest voyages make the best returns. So far am I from thinking that God is less just, and future happiness less certain, because I see the wicked sometimes prosper, and the righteous suffer in this world that I am rather led to believe that God is more just and Heaven more certain. For, in the first place, God will not put off his favorite children with so poor a lot as the good things of this world. And next, seeing that the holiest men here below do not often attain to the best things why it only serves to strengthen my belief that worldly things are not the best things in His eye. He has most assuredly reserved for those who love Him such 'good things as eye has not seen nor ear heard.' God, by keeping man in Paradise while he was innocent, and turning him into this world as soon as he had sinned gave a plain proof that he never intended the world, even in its happiest state, as a place of reward. My father gave me good principles and useful knowledge; and while he taught me by a habit of constant employment to be, if I may so say, independent of the world yet he led me to a constant sense of dependence on God."

"I do not see, however," interrupted Betty, "that your religion has been of any use to you. It has been so far from preserving you from trouble, that I think you have had more than the usual share!"

Mrs. Simpson answered, "Christianity never pretended to exempt its followers from trouble this is no part of the promise. Nay, the contrary is rather stipulated: 'Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.' But if it has not taught me to escape sorrow, I humbly hope it has taught me how to bear it and not to murmur. I will tell you a little of my story: As my father could save little or nothing for me, he was desirous of seeing me married to a young gentleman in the neighborhood, who expressed a regard for me. But while he was anxiously engaged in bringing this about, my good father died."

"How very unlucky!" interrupted Betty.

"No, Betty," replied Mrs. Simpson, "it was very providential. This man, though he maintained a decent character, had a good fortune, and lived soberly yet he would not have made me happy."

"Why, what more could you want of a man?" said Betty.

"True religion," returned Mrs. Simpson. "As my father made a creditable appearance, and was very charitable; and as I was an only child, this gentleman concluded that he could give me a considerable fortune for he did not know that all the poor in his parish are the children of every pious clergyman. Finding I had little or nothing left me, he withdrew his attentions from me."

"What a sad thing!" cried Betty.

"No, it was all for the best! Providence overruled his covetousness, for my good. I could not have been happy with a man whose soul was set on the perishable things of this world nor did I esteem him, though I labored to submit my own inclinations to those of my kind father.

"I finally did marry a Mr. Simpson. The very circumstance of being left penniless, produced the direct contrary effect on him he was a sensible young man, engaged in a prosperous business. We had long highly valued each other; but while my father lived, he thought me above his hopes. We were married; I found him an amiable, industrious, good-tempered man. He respected religion and religious people but with all his excellent dispositions, I had the grief to find him less pious than I had hoped. He was ambitious, and a little too much immersed in worldly schemes. And though I knew it was all done for my sake, yet that did not blind me so far as to make me think it right. He attached himself so eagerly to business, that he thought every hour lost in which he was not doing something that would tend to raise me to what he called my proper rank. The more prosperous he grew the less pious he became. And I began to find that one might be unhappy with a husband whom one tenderly loved. One day as he was standing on some steps to reach down a parcel of goods, he fell from the top and broke his leg in two places."

"What a dreadful misfortune!" said Betty.

"What a signal blessing!" said Mrs. Simpson. "Here I am sure I had reason to say that all was for the best. From the very hour in which my outward troubles began I date the beginning of my happiness. Severe suffering, a near prospect of death, absence from the world, silence, reflection, and above all, the divine blessing on the prayers and Scriptures I read to him were the means used by our merciful Father to turn my husband's heart. During his confinement he was awakened to a deep sense of his own sinfulness, of the vanity of all this world has to bestow, and of his great need of a Savior. It was many months before he could leave his bed; during this time his business was neglected. His principal clerk took advantage of his absence to receive large sums of money in his name, and absconded with them. On hearing of this great loss, our creditors came faster upon us than we could answer their demands they grew more impatient as we were less able to satisfy them. One misfortune followed another, until at length my husband became a bankrupt."

"What an evil!" exclaimed Betty.

"Yet it led in the end to much good," resumed Mrs. Simpson. "We were forced to leave the town in which we had lived with so much credit and comfort, and to betake ourselves to a poor lodging in a neighboring village, until my husband's strength should be recruited, and until we could have time to look about us and see what was to be done. The first night we got to this poor dwelling, my husband felt very sorrowful, not for his own sake, but that he had brought so much poverty on me, whom he had so dearly loved. I, on the contrary, was unusually cheerful, for the blessed change in his mind had more than reconciled me to the sad change in his circumstances. I was contented to live with him in a poor cottage for a few years on earth if it might contribute to our spending a blessed eternity together in Heaven! I said to him, 'Instead of lamenting that we are now reduced to lack all the comforts of life I have sometimes been almost ashamed to live in the full enjoyments of them, when I have reflected that my Savior not only chose to deny himself all these enjoyments, but even to live a life of hardship for my sake. Not one of his numerous miracles tended to his own comfort. And though we read at different times that he both hungered and thirsted yet it was not for his own gratification that he once changed water into wine. I have often been struck with the near position of that chapter in which this miracle is recorded, to that in which he thirsted for a draught of water at the well in Samaria. It was for others, not himself, that even the humble sustenance of barley-bread was multiplied. See here, we have a bed left us (I had, indeed, nothing but straw to stuff it with), but the Savior of the world had nowhere to lay his head.'

"My husband smiled through his tears, and we sat down to supper. It consisted of a roll and a bit of cheese which I had brought with me, and we ate it thankfully. Seeing my husband beginning to relapse into distrust, the following conversation, as nearly as I can remember, took place between us. He began by remarking, that it was a mysterious Providence that he had been less prosperous since he had been less attached to the world, and that his endeavors had not been followed by that success which usually attends honest industry. I took the liberty to reply: 'Your heavenly Father sees on which side your danger lies, and is mercifully bringing you, by these disappointments, to trust less in the world and more in himself. My dear husband,' added I, 'we trust everybody but God. As children, we obey our parents implicitly, because we are taught to believe all is for our good which they command or forbid. If we undertake a voyage, we trust entirely to the skill and conduct of the pilot we never torment ourselves in thinking he will carry us east, when he has promised to carry us west. If a dear and tried friend makes us a promise, we depend on him for the performance, and do not wound his feelings by our anxious suspicions. When you used to go your annual journey to London, you confided yourself to the care of the coachman, that he would carry you where he had engaged to do so. You were not anxiously watching him, and distrusting and inquiring at every turning. When the doctor sends home your medicine, don't you so fully trust in his ability and goodwill, that you swallow it down in full confidence? You never think of inquiring what are the ingredients, why they are mixed in that particular way, why there is more of one and less of another, and why they are bitter instead of sweet! If one dose does not cure you, he orders another, and changes the medicine when he sees the first does you no good, or that by long use the same medicine has lost its effect. If the weaker medicine fails, he prescribes you a stronger you swallow all, you submit to all, never questioning the skill or kindness of the physician. God is the only being whom we do not trust though He is the only one who is fully competent, both in will and power, to fulfill all his promises and who has solemnly and repeatedly pledged himself to fulfill them in those Scriptures which we receive as his revealed will.'

"My husband thanked me for my little sermon, as he called it; but said, at the same time, that what made my exhortations produce a powerful effect on his mind was, the patient cheerfulness with which he was pleased to say I bore my share in our misfortunes. A submissive behavior, he said, was the best practical illustration of a real faith. When we had thanked God for our supper, we prayed together; after which we read the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews. When my husband had finished it, he said, 'Surely, if God's chief favorites have been martyrs is not that a sufficient proof that this world is not a place of happiness, no earthly prosperity the reward of virtue? Shall we, after reading this chapter, complain of our petty trials? Shall we not rather be thankful that our affliction is so light?'

"Next day my husband walked out in search of some employment, by which we might be supported. He got a recommendation to Mr. Thomas, an opulent farmer who had large concerns, and needed a skillful person to assist him in keeping his accounts. This we thought a fortunate circumstance, for we found that the salary would serve to procure us at least all the necessities of life. Mr. Thomas was so pleased with my husband's quickness, regularity, and good sense, that he offered us, of his own accord, a neat little cottage of his own, which then happened to be vacant, and told us we should live rent free, and promised to be a friend to us."

"All does seem for the best now, indeed," interrupted Betty.

"We shall see," said Mrs. Simpson, and thus went on: "I now became very easy and very happy; and was cheerfully employed in putting our few things in order, and making everything look to the best advantage. My husband, who wrote all day for his employer, in the evening assisted me in doing up our little garden. This was a source of much pleasure to us we both loved a garden, and we were not only contented, but cheerful.

"Our employer had been absent some weeks on his annual journey. He came home on a Saturday night, and the next morning sent for my husband to come and settle his accounts, which were got behind-hand by his long absence. We were just going to church, and my husband sent back word that he would call and speak to him on his way home. A second message followed, ordering him to come to the farmer's directly.

"Mr. Thomas, more ignorant and worse educated than his plowman, with all that pride and haughtiness which the possession of wealth, without knowledge of religion is apt to give rudely asked my husband what he meant by sending him word that he would not come to him until the next day; and insisted that he should stay and settle the accounts right then.

'Sir,' said my husband, in a very respectful manner, 'I am on my way to church, and I am afraid shall be too late.'

'Is that so?' said Mr. Thomas. 'Do you know who sent for you? You may, however, go to church, if you will, so long as you make haste back to me. You may leave your accounts with me, as I conclude you have brought them with you. I will look them over by the time you return, and then you and I can do all I want to have done today in about a couple of hours. And I will give you some letters to take home to copy for me in the evening.'

'Sir,' answered my husband, 'I dare not obey you it is Sunday.'

'And so you refuse to settle my accounts only because it is Sunday.'

'Sir,' replied my husband, 'if you would give me a handful of silver and gold, I dare not break the commandment of my God.'

'Well,' said the farmer, 'but this is not breaking the commandment; I don't order you to drive my cattle, or to work in my garden, or to do anything which you might imagine would be a bad example.'

'Sir,' replied my husband, 'the example indeed goes a great way, but it is not the first object. The deed is wrong in itself.'

'Well, but I shall not keep you from church; and when you have been there, there is no harm in doing a little business, or taking a little pleasure the rest of the day.'

'Sir,' answered my husband, 'the commandment does not say, you shall keep holy the Sabbath morning, but the Sabbath day.'

'Get out of my house, you puritanical rascal, and out of my cottage too!' said the farmer. 'For if you refuse to do my work, I am not bound to keep my engagement with you. As you will not obey me as a master, I shall not pay you as a servant.'

'Sir,' said my husband, 'I would gladly obey you, but I have a Master in Heaven whom I dare not disobey.'

'Then let him find employment for you,' said the enraged farmer; 'for I imagine you will get but poor employment on earth with these scrupulous notions. Send my papers to me directly, and pack off out of the town.'

'Out of your cottage,' said my husband, 'I certainly will; but as to the town, I hope I may remain in that, if I can find employment.'

'I will make it too hot to hold you,' replied the farmer, 'so you had better troop off bag and baggage; for I am constable, and it is my duty not to let any vagabonds stay in the town.'

"By the time my husband returned home, for he found it too late to go to church, I had got our little dinner ready; it was a better one than we had for a long while been accustomed to, and I was unusually cheerful at this improvement in our circumstances. I saw his eyes full of tears, and oh! with what pain did he bring himself to tell me that it was the last dinner we must ever eat in this house. I took his hand with a smile, and only said, 'the Lord gave and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.'

'Notwithstanding this sudden stroke of injustice,' said my husband, 'this is still a free country. Our employer, it is true, may turn us out of home at a moment's notice, because it is his own but he has no further power over us; he cannot confine or punish us. His riches, it is true, give him power to insult us, but not to oppress us. The same laws to which the affluent resort, protect us also. And as to our being driven out from a cottage, how many people of the highest rank have lately been driven out from their palaces and castles people too, born in a station which he never enjoyed, and used to all the indulgences of that rank and wealth we never knew, are at this moment wandering over the face of the earth, without a house or without bread, exiles and beggars while we, blessed be God, are in our own native land; we have still our liberty, our limbs, the protection of just and equal laws, our churches, our Bibles, and our Sabbaths.'

"This happy state of my husband's mind hushed my sorrows, and I never once murmured; nay, I sat down to dinner with a degree of cheerfulness, endeavoring to cast all our care on 'Him who cares for us.' We had begged to stay until the next morning, as Sunday was not the day on which we liked to remove; but we were ordered not to sleep another night in Mr. Thomas' house. As we had little to carry, we marched off in the evening to the poor lodging we had before occupied. The thought that my husband had cheerfully renounced his little all for conscience sake, gave an unspeakable serenity to my mind; and I felt thankful that though cast down we were not forsaken. Nay I felt a lively gratitude to God, that while I doubted not he would accept this little sacrifice, as it was heartily made for his sake, he had graciously forborne to call us to greater trials."

"And so you were turned adrift once more? Well, ma'am, I hope you won't be such a fool as to say all was for the best now."

"Yes, Betty, He who does all things well, now made his kind Providence more manifest than ever. That very night, while we were sweetly sleeping in our poor lodging Mr. Thomas' pretty cottage, out of which we were so unkindly driven, was burned to the ground by a flash of lightning which caught the thatch, and so completely consumed the whole little building, that had it not been for the merciful Providence who thus overruled the cruelty of the farmer for the preservation of our lives we must have been burned to ashes with the house. 'It was the Lord's doing, and it was marvelous in our eyes.' 'O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and for all the wonders that he does for the children of men!'

"I will not tell you all the trials and afflictions which befell us afterward. I would also spare my heart the sad story of my husband's death."

"Well, that was another blessing too, I suppose," said Betty.

"Oh, it was the severest trial ever sent to me!" replied Mrs. Simpson, a few tears quietly stealing down her face. "I almost sank under it. Nothing but the abundant grace of God could have carried me through such a painful visitation and yet I now feel it to be the greatest mercy I ever experienced. My husband was my idol no trouble ever came near my heart while he was with me. I got more credit than I deserved for my patience under trials, which were easily borne while he who shared and lightened them was spared to me. I had indeed prayed and struggled to be weaned from this world, but still my affection for him tied me down to the earth with a strong cord. And though I earnestly tried to keep my eyes fixed on the eternal world, yet I viewed it with too feeble a faith I viewed it at too great a distance. I found it difficult to realize it I had deceived myself. I had imagined that I bore my troubles so well out of pure love of God, but I have since found that my love for my husband had too great a share in reconciling me to every difficulty which I underwent for him. When I lost him the charm was broken, the cord which tied me down to earth was cut, this world had nothing left to engage me. Heaven had now no rival in my heart. Though my love of God had always been sincere, yet I found I needed this blow to make it perfect. But though all that had made life pleasant to me was gone, I did not sink as those who have no hope. I prayed that I might still, in this trying conflict, be enabled to adorn the doctrine of God my Savior.

"After many more hardships, I was at length so happy as to get an asylum in this alms-house. Here my cares are at an end, but not my duties."

"Now you are wrong again," interrupted Betty; "your duty is now to take care of yourself for I am sure you have nothing to spare."

"There you are mistaken again," said Mrs. Simpson. "People are so apt to imagine that money is all in all that all the other gifts of Providence are overlooked as things of no value. I have here a great deal of leisure; a good part of this I devote to the needs of those who are more distressed than myself. I work a little for the aged people, and I instruct the young. My eyes are good this enables me to read the Bible either to those whose sight is decayed, or who were never taught to read. I have tolerable health; so that I am able occasionally to sit up with the sick in the intervals of nursing I can pray with them. In my younger days I thought it not much to sit up late for my pleasure shall I now think much of sitting up now and then to watch by a dying bed? My Savior waked and watched for me in the garden and on the mount and shall I do nothing for his suffering members? It is only by keeping his sufferings in view, that we can truly practice charity to others, or exercise self-denial to ourselves."

"Well," said Betty, "I think if I had lived in such genteel life as you have done, I could never be reconciled to an alms-house; and I am afraid I would never forgive any of those who were the cause of sending me there, particularly that farmer Thomas who turned you out of doors."

"Betty," said Mrs. Simpson, "I not only forgive him heartily, but I remember him in my prayers, as one of those instruments with which it has pleased God to work for my good. Oh! never put off forgiveness to a dying bed! When people come to die, we often see how the conscience is troubled with sins, of which before they hardly felt the existence. How ready are they to make restitution of ill-gotten gain; and this perhaps for two reasons; from a feeling conviction that it can be of no use to them where they are going, as well as from a near view of their own responsibility. We also hear from the most hardened, of death-bed forgiveness of enemies. Even malefactors at prisons forgive. But why must we wait for a dying bed to do what ought to be done now? Believe me, that scene will be so full of terror and amazement to the soul, that we had not need load it with unnecessary business."

Just as Mrs. Simpson was saying these words, a letter was brought her from the minister of the parish where the farmer lived, by whom Mrs. Simpson had been turned out of the cottage. The letter was as follows:

"MADAM I write to tell you that your old oppressor, Mr. Thomas, is dead. I attended him in his last moments. O, may my latter end never be like his! I shall not soon forget his despair at the approach of death. His riches, which had been his sole joy, now doubled his sorrows; for he was going where they could be of no use to him; and he found too late that he had laid up no treasure in Heaven. He felt great concern at his past life, but for nothing more than his unkindness to my husband. He charged me to find you out, and let you know that by his will, he bequeathed you five hundred pounds as some compensation. He died in great agonies, declaring with his last breath, that if he could live his life over again, he would serve God, and strictly observe the Sabbath." Yours, etc. J. JOHNSON.

Betty, who had listened attentively to the letter, jumped up, clapped her hands, and cried out, "Now all is for the best, and I shall see you a lady once more."

"I am, indeed, thankful for this money," said Mrs. Simpson, "and am glad that riches were not sent me until I had learned, as I humbly hope, to make a right use of them. But come, let us go in, for I am very cold, and find I have sat too long in the night air."

Betty was now ready enough to acknowledge the hand of Providence in this prosperous event, though she was blind to it when the dispensation was more dark. Next morning she went early to visit Mrs. Simpson, but not seeing her below, she went upstairs, where, to her great sorrow, she found her confined to her bed by a fever, caught the night before, by sitting so late on the bench, reading the letter and talking it over. Betty was now more ready to cry out against Providence than ever.

"What! to catch a fever while you were reading that very letter which told you about your good fortune; which would have enabled you to live like a lady as you are. I never will believe that this is for the best to be deprived of life just as you were beginning to enjoy it!"

"Betty," said Mrs. Simpson, "we must learn not to rate health nor life itself too highly. There is little in life, for its own sake, to be so fond of. As a good minister used to say, 'It is but the same thing over again, or probably worse: so many more nights and days, summers and winters, a repetition of the same pleasures, but with less relish for them; a return of the same or greater pains, but with less strength, and perhaps less patience to bear them.'"

"Well," replied Betty, "I did think that Providence was at last giving you your reward."

"Reward!" cried Mrs. Simpson. "O, no! my merciful Father will not put me off with so poor a portion as wealth. I feel I shall die."

"It is very hard, indeed," said Betty, "so good as you are, to die just as your prosperity was beginning."

"You think I am good just now," said Mrs. Simpson, "because I am prosperous. Success is no sure mark of God's favor. At this rate, you, who judge by outward things, would have thought Herod a better man than John the Baptist. And if I may be allowed to say so, you, on your principles, that the sufferer is the sinner, would have believed Pontius Pilate higher in God's favor than the Savior whom he condemned to die for sinners."

In a few days Betty found that her new friend was dying, and though she was struck at her resignation, she could not forbear murmuring that so good a woman should be taken away at the very instant which she came into possession of so much money.

"Betty," said Mrs. Simpson in a feeble voice, "I believe you love me dearly, you would do anything to cure me. Yet you do not love me so well as God loves me, though you would raise me up, and He is putting an end to my life. He has never sent me a single stroke which was not absolutely necessary for me. You, if you could restore me, might be laying me open to some temptation from which God, by removing me, will deliver me. Your kindness in making this world so smooth for me, I might forever have deplored in a world of misery. God's grace in afflicting me, will hereafter be the subject of my praises in a world of blessedness. Betty," added the dying woman, "do you really think that I am going to a place of rest and joy eternal?"

"To be sure I do," said Betty.

"Do you firmly believe that I am going to the assembly of the first-born; to the spirits of just men made perfect, to God the judge of all; and to Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant?"

"I am sure you are," said Betty.

"And yet," resumed she, "you would detain me from all this happiness; and you think my merciful Father is treating me unkindly by removing me from a world of sin, and sorrow, and temptation and bringing me to such joys as have not entered into the heart of man to conceive; while it would have better suited your notions of reward to defer my entrance into the blessedness of Heaven, that I might have enjoyed a legacy of a few hundred pounds! Believe my dying words ALL IS FOR THE BEST!"

Mrs. Simpson expired soon after, in a frame of mind which convinced her new friend, that "God's ways are not as our ways."

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28