Thursday, August 23

C. H. Spurgeon

Dan Perrin sent this quote of Spurgeon's to Ben, who forwarded it to me for posting. I was really encouraged reading it, as whenever Ben has additional pains I think "God, really? Does he need to suffer more?" This passage answers with a "Yes," full of compassion still.

"This sickness is not unto death." - John 11:4
From our Lord's words we learn that there is a limit to sickness.
Here is an "unto" within which its ultimate end is restrained, and
beyond which it cannot go. Lazarus might pass through death, but
death was not to be the ultimatum of his sickness. In all sickness,
the Lord saith to the waves of pain, "Hitherto shall ye go, but no
further." His fixed purpose is not the destruction, but the
instruction of His people. Wisdom hangs up the thermometer and the
furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.
1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence
has limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of
all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour
predestinated, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit
foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing
great or small escapes the ordaining hand of Him who numbers the hairs
of our head.
2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end
designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not at
haphazard - the weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately
measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting
out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients
which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be
relieved too late.
3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly
Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. "He doth not
afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." A mother's heart
cries, "Spare my child;" but no mother is more compassionate than our
gracious God. When we consider how hard-mouthed we are, it is a
wonder that we are not driven with a sharper bit. The thought is full
of consolation, that He who has fixed the bounds of our habitation,
has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation.


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