“The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:3, 5
TURN we again to David. What would be the result of his review in after-years of the early and severe discipline in which the God of love placed him? Would He not, when his great enemy was laid low, and He had come to the throne, awaken his harp to the sweetest praise and thanksgiving, for the schooling of trial in the morning of life? Oh yes, when binding his sacrifice upon the horns of the altar, or administering the kingdom, he would think of the cave of Adullam, and of the wilderness of Ziph; and as he recounted all the way God had led him, and remembered the deep lessons he had learned in those seasons of deep trial, with what a swelling heart and tuneful voice would he exclaim, “Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord, and teach him out of Your law; that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be dug for the wicked.”
What an echo to its truth does this sweet strain awaken in many a heart! We, too, can praise God for trial. We, too, can thank God for sorrow. It has been to us, though a painful, yet a much needed and a most blessed school. The cave and the wilderness have been heavenly places on earth. True, it may be, the sorrow early came. It distilled its bitter into our cup, and flung its shadow upon our path, when that cup was so sweet and that path was so bright with life’s young dream of joy; yet it was well for us that we bowed to the yoke in our youth, it was good for us that we were early afflicted. The lessons which we have been taught, the truths which we have learned, the preciousness of the Savior which we have experienced, the love of God which we have felt, the sweetness in prayer we have tasted, and the fitness for labor we have derived, all, all testify, as with one voice, to the unutterably precious blessings that flow through the channel of early, sacred, and sanctified sorrow.
Dear reader, painful and sad as may be the path you now are treading, fear not; the issue will be most glorious. The seed you are sowing in tears shall yield you a golden harvest of joy. Adversity is the school of heaven. And in heaven—where no sorrow chafes, where no tears flow, where no blight withers, where no disappointment sickens, and where no change or coldness chills, wounds, and slays—the sweetest praises will be awakened by the recollection of the early and sanctified sorrows of earth. Thus the moral beauty of the redeemed soul here, and its inconceivable glory hereafter, will be found to have been deepened by those very circumstances that threatened to deface and becloud it.