This trouble from which you are now suffering
(John MacDuff, "A Book for the Bereaved")
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten."
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring
her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably
unto her." Hosea 2:14
"For the moment all chastening seems painful
rather than pleasant." Hebrews 12:11
This trouble from which you are now suffering may
be utterly incomprehensible. Jehovah's name to you,
as it often has been to His tried and afflicted children,
may be that which He gave to Manoah--"Wonderful,"
"Secret," "Mysterious." But, be assured, that your
present place and season of suffering, is the
figurative "wilderness," where He "allures" His
people--rousing them . . .
from the dream of earthly happiness,
from the sordid and the secular,
from busy care and debasing concerns,
to the divine and the heavenly--leading them to
exchange the earthly pottage for the bread of
life; perishable substance for the fine gold of
heavenly gain and durable riches!
Suffering Christian! you may well trust Him who
gave the mightiest pledge of love He could give
by giving His own life--that there is some all-wise
"needs be" in the trial He has laid upon you. It is
designed to bring you nearer Himself. It is one of
His own appointed gateways, opening up and
admitting to great spiritual blessings!
He rebukes and chastens just because He loves;
and, contradictory as the remark may seem, we
believe never is His love more tender than when
the rod is in His hand, and the rebuke on His lips!
The rebukes of other earthly friends are often
mis-timed; the result, it may be, of passion or
caprice--"but He disciplines us for our profit,
that we might be partakers of His holiness."
No nobler result of trial surely than this--to lead
the mourner to grope his tearful way more meekly
and trustfully in search of a Savior's hand, seeking
only to hear His guiding voice saying, "This is the
way--walk in it."