From the Editor's Notebook (Mar-Apr 1974)

MIF 6:2 (Mar-Apr 1974)


W. Ross Rainey

We are well into 1974 and perhaps by now the “clean slate” of an other New Year has been marred by sorrow, illness, failure, disappointment, business reverses, frustrations, or some deep need that is so burdensome and perplexing that there is even difficulty in praying about it (see Romans 8:26). Sooner or later, to one degree or another, these things become part of our life’s experience, and on occasion they may come crashing in on us two or three at a time, so as to almost overwhelm us.

In view of such things that may be directly affecting some of us presently, or at least indirectly through the lives of others who are near and dear to us, I would like to share with you from my personal reading something that recently proved a rich blessing to my spirit. It is a brief prayer from the pen of the nineteenth century preacher and author, Phillips Brooks, who, incidentally, wrote the well-known hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” It reads as follows:

“O Lord, by all thy dealings with us, whether of joy or pain, of light or darkness let us be brought to Thee. Let us value no treatment of Thy grace simply because it makes us happy or because it makes us sad, because it gives us or denies us what we want; but may all that Thou sendest us bring us to Thee (italics mine), that, knowing thy perfectness, we may be sure in every darkness that Thou art still enlightening us, and in every enforced idleness that Thou art still using us; yea, in every death that Thou art still giving us life, as in His death Thou didst give life to Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

In view of this prayer, we do well to pause and ask ourselves at least two questions. First, do we really believe and accept the fact that our Lord sends these things into our lives according to His purpose? And second, do they bring us to Him?