Oh, welcome sorrow! welcome suffering!

(Ashton Oxenden, "The Blessings and Trials of Sickness" 1863)

"I know their sorrows!" Exodus 3:7

Thank God for this! I have often said within myself, "No one knows my sorrows — no one can tell what I suffer!" But now I hear, as it were, a voice from Heaven, saying to me, "I know your sorrows!"

It is my heavenly Father who speaks these words. He measures out every sorrow to me. There is not one too many. There is not one heavier, or sharper, than is needful. Neither am I called upon to bear them one day longer than is good for me.

No matter what my sorrow is; whether it arises from pain of body or anguish of heart — it is the cross that my Father has laid upon me, and I will cheerfully bear it. I will kiss the hand that smites me, for it is my heavenly Father's hand!

It is no small comfort to feel that the Lord "knows our sorrows." Therefore we may be quite sure He will not lay upon us more than we can bear. As the refiner of silver carefully watches the metal while it is in the hot furnace — so does Jesus watch over His suffering people. There is no trial too small, and no pang too hidden — for His eye to reach, and His heart to pity. He feels for them, and tenderly loves them.

Oh, welcome sorrow! welcome suffering — if it only weans me from this treacherous world, and drives me to my Savior's arms!