The medicine! The knife! Your song!
(From Octavius Winslow's "Soul Heights")
The believer has never known how deeply
God loves him, how truly a child of God he
was, and how tender and faithful his Father's
love, until God has afflicted him.
Then he sees love, and nothing but love...
in the calamity that has impoverished,
in the disease that has wasted,
in the bereavement that has crushed,
in the fickleness that has changed.
The moment tried and sifted faith disentangles
itself of 'second causes', and rests in God, that
moment the bitter and unlovely bulb bursts into
the sweet and beauteous flower, laden with the
dew and bathed in the sunshine of heaven!
It is thus that, sanctified sorrows yield to the
believer the richest fruit; and that in the 'valley'
he drinks from sweeter springs than flow from
the mountain's top!
But it is not always that the saints of God accept
this discipline of trial without murmur and rebellion.
They too often lose sight of....
the wisdom that appoints, and
the faithfulness that sends the trial, and
the immense good to themselves it was
designed to accomplish.
They do not see the hand of their Heavenly Father,
beneath whose loving corrections they lie.
As an old divine remarks, "The physician attacks
the disease, and not the patient; his object is to
cure him whom he causes to suffer. It is thus that
God, whose mercy is infinite, chastises us only to
bring us into the way of salvation, or to confirm
our course in it. You are not angry with your
physician when he applies the cautery or the
knife to your gangrened limb; on the contrary,
you can scarcely find language adequate to the
expression of your gratitude; you keep repeating
that he has saved your life by preventing the
disease from spreading, and you pay him liberally
for his attentions!
Yet you murmur against the Lord, who wounds
only for our good; and you are unwilling to
acknowledge that the afflictions with which He
visits us are the only means capable of restoring
health to our souls, or of securing the continuance
of it when it is restored to us."
Expect, then, the happiest results from this
curative process of your Divine Physician!
The prescription may be unpalatable, and the
excision painful; nevertheless, the richest
blessing to you and the highest glory to God
will be the happy and hallowed result!
"every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that
it may bring forth more fruit." In this light, view
your present sickness, suffering, and sorrow.
The medicine is prescribed by Jesus,
the knife is in a Father's hand, and
your song shall be, "He has done all things