All the temporal blessings and accommodations which God provides to sweeten life and make our passage through this wilderness more agreeable will fail and disappoint us, and produce us more thorns than roses, unless we can keep sight of His hand in bestowing them, and hold and use the gifts in some due subservience to what we owe to the Giver.
But, alas! we are poor creatures, prone to wander, prone to admire our gourds, cleave to our cisterns, and think of building tabernacles, and taking our rest in this polluted world! Hence the Lord often sees it necessary in mercy in the lives of His children . . .
– to embitter their sweets, – to break their cisterns, – send a worm to their gourds, and – draw a dark cloud over their pleasing prospects.
His Word tells us, that all here is vanity compared with the light of His countenance. And if we cannot or will not believe it upon the authority of His Word, we must learn it by experience. May He enable you to settle it in your hearts, that ‘creature comforts’ are precarious, insufficient, and ensnaring; that all good comes from His hand; and that nothing can do us good, but so far as He is pleased to make it the instrument of communicating, as a stream, that goodness which is in Him as a fountain.
Even the bread which we eat, without the influence of His promise and blessing, would no more support us than a stone. But His blessing makes everything good, gives a tenfold value to our comforts, and greatly diminishes the weight of every cross.
The Creator, not the creature comforts He gives, is the source of true joy.
– John Newton