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TEXT: HEB. XII. 6.
· Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.'
God has many ways of teaching His children, and helping them onwards in the way of life. He teaches them both by work and rest, by joy and sorrow, by sickness and health.
To-day we will think how even sickness may become a help to us. How often do we see people, who, when well and strong have forgotten God, turn to Him in sickness and sorrow. It may be only from fear of His judgments, but it may
be also because He is drawing them to Himself.
Perhaps now as you read this, you are well and strong, and do not care to think of the time when God may send you pain and sickness to bear. And yet it is well for you to do so, for sooner or later you will surely need to be taught what only sorrow and sickness can teach you. It may some day make it easier to bear, if you learn beforehand, why God sends us these trials. It is to make us remember Him, to give us a quiet time to think about Him more, and to ask ourselves the question, For what am I living ?' It is to show us that we cannot live on earth for ever, and to make each one of us stop and think, ‘Am I ready to die?' It is to prove if we are willing, not only to work for Christ, but to suffer for Him.
It may be that God will speak to you by the sickness and death of some one dear to you; then remember why He does it. It may
be He will speak to you by letting you suffer pain and sickness yourself; then remember, He is trying your faith and love.
Perhaps you are even now laid by, not
able to go about your daily work; then remember that Jesus loves you, and just because He loves you, you are lying there. For every trouble that comes upon you there is a reason ; nothing in this world happens by chance. Do not then be afraid to ask yourself the question : 'Why am I lying here?' If you have patience to learn God's lesson, and use even sickness as a help, you will find, I think, a happy answer in the words,
'I am learning to do God's will.'
Look upon me, O God, as I lie sick upon my bed. Make Thou all my bed in my sickness. May I feel Thy love. to me while I am lying here, and make me not only willing to work for Thee, but to suffer for Thy sake. Make me patient and uncomplaining, and thankful to all who wait upon me. May I bear all pain and discomfort bravely, remembering how much Thou didst bear for me. Grant that I
learn humbly the lessons of sickness, and in Thine own time, and if it be Thy will, make me strong and well again. For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Calm all thy restless throbbing,
O beating heart, be still,
Unto the Master's will.
With weight of anxious care,
He will thy burden share.
He knows thy cruel pain,
To give thee ease again.
Thy strength is to lie still;
'Tis peace to do His will.
Text: MARK, XIII. 35-37: • Watch
ye therefore : for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning : lest, coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you,
say unto all, Watch.'
What does this verse tell us to watch for ? The coming of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Are you watching ? Has it ever struck you, that some day when you are going about your daily work just as usual, cooking, cleaning, working with your needle, you may suddenly hear the sound of the trumpet, and looking up know that the Master is come? Or that perhaps when you are sleeping quietly on your bed some night you will