I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains; but I
pray earnestly that God gives you strength and patience to bear
them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds
you fastened to the cross. He will loose you when He thinks fit.
Happy are those who suffer with Him. Accustom yourself to suffer
in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much,
and as long, as He judges necessary for you.
Worldly people do not comprehend these truths. It is not
surprising though, since they suffer like what they are and not
like Christians. They see sickness as a pain against nature and
not as a favor from God. Seeing it only in that light, they find
nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider
sickness as coming from the hand of God, out of His mercy and as
the means He uses for their salvation, commonly find sweetness and
consolation in it.
I pray that you see that God is often nearer to us and present
within us in sickness than in health. Do not rely completely on
another physician because He reserves your cure to Himself. Put
all your trust in God. You will soon find the effects in your
recovery, which we often delay by putting greater faith in
medicine than in God. Whatever remedies you use, they will succeed
only so far as He permits. When pains come from God, only He can
ultimately cure them. He often sends sickness to the body to cure
diseases of the soul. Comfort yourself with the Sovereign
Physician of both soul and body.
I expect you will say that I am very much at ease, and that I eat
and drink at the table of the Lord. You have reason. But think how
painful it would be to the greatest criminal in the world to eat
at the king's table and be served by him, yet have no assurance of
pardon? I believe he would feel an anxiety that nothing could calm
except his trust in the goodness of his sovereign. So I assure
you, that whatever pleasures I taste at the table of my King, my
sins, ever present before my eyes, as well as the uncertainty of
my pardon, torment me. Though I accept that torment as something
pleasing to God.
Be satisfied with the condition in which God places you. However
happy you may think me, I envy you. Pain and suffering would be a
paradise to me, if I could suffer with my God. The greatest
pleasures would be hell if I relished them without Him. My only
consolation would be to suffer something for His sake.
I must, in a little time, go to God. What comforts me in this life
is that I now see Him by faith. I see Him in such a manner that I
sometimes say, I believe no more, but I see. I feel what faith
teaches us, and, in that assurance and that practice of faith, I
live and die with Him.
Stay with God always for He is the only support and comfort for
your affliction. I shall beseech Him to be with you. I present my