A Paradox of Providence
And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in. – Deuteronomy 6:23
The lesson set before us may be “He had torn, He hath smitten,” “He maketh sore, he woundeth”; and in our own experience, we may feel how painful is the truth thus taught. But fi the eye of faith can discern the precious postscripts that follow – “He will heal,” “He will bind us up,” “His hands make whole” – we are strengthened to endure patiently the trial that is so sure to end in triumph. And we say, “Ah, Lord! Thou dost but frown to make Thy smile the sweeter; Thou dost kill only that Thou mayest make alive!” Blessed wounding, gracious suffering, which places us under the Great Physician’s love and care!
He must bring us out of self and sin and Satan’s slavery before He can bring us in to holiness, pardon, and the liberty wherewith Christ makes us free. Many times the Lord has had to disturb our nest and bring us out of some earthly refuge that was becoming too easy and too dear to our soul. But, as music sounds the sweetest when heard across the waters, so do God’s dealing make the purest harmony in our hearts when they reach us over the waves of affliction and trial. When a tried and tempted soul stays itself on God and sings in the midst of the flood or the fire, such praise must, methinks, be more glorious and glorifying to Him and His mighty grace than the hallelujahs of unfallen angels.
Mark the tenderness of our dear Lord and Shepherd; He does not drive us either way, in or out. No, for “when He putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him.” God grant that this may be true of you and me, dear reader! May we never hesitate to go where He leads or think any road too rough or dark when we hear His dear voice calling us to come! – Susannah Spurgeon, Seasons of the Heart