The school of adversity!
(Winslow's, "The Fragrance of Christ's Name")
Beloved, you are, perhaps, smarting under the
severe chastening of your Heavenly Father.
The vase is shattered, and the flower that lent
to life its sweetest perfume, lies smitten
and trailing in the dust, and the hand of God
is heavy upon you.
But think of the Name of Jesus, what it involves.
Think of it as containing all, and infinitely more,
than you have lost. Recall the sweetness of a
wife's fond love, of a husband's faithful protection,
of a child's tender devotion, of a friend's soothing
sympathy, yes, the sweetness of every earthly
good you once possessed, but possess no longer.
Then remember that all this is in Christ! That all
this affection, all this counsel, all this care, all
this sympathy, and all this pleasantness distilled
from Him, the infinite springhead of all blessing!
O what a mercy that, when the rivulet is dried,
and the stream is gone, and the cloud shades the
pleasant picture that adorned with its presence
and brightened with its smile our home circle,
Christ remains a sufficient substitute for all; all
of which combined could never have been an all
satisfying substitute for Him.
Accept, then, the fragrant sympathy of Christ.
No being in the universe is so near to you,
loves or compassionates you so deeply in your
present calamity as Christ does. Deem it
not hard that He has dealt with you thus.
He has but transferred the flower from your bosom
to His own; transplanting it to a sunnier and holier
climate. Jealous of your love, He would have your
undivided heart, and absorb your whole being in
Himself. And O how honored and blest you now are!
You shall experimentally know more of Christ, see
more clearly His surpassing glory, drink more
deeply His fathomless love, and experience more
fully His tender sympathy than in all the
past of your experience.
It is only in the school of adversity that
know what the Lord Jesus is. How much we learn
from Him and of Him in one trial! Until the trial
brought us sobbing upon His heart, how little we
knew what that heart contained. Welcome, then,
the grief that lifts you nearer to God, and that
increases your acquaintance with, and your peace
and joy in, the Lord Jesus.