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Prayer Meeting - December 12, 2018

The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: you will make all his bed in his sickness.” Psalm 41:3

WHAT a view this touching expression gives of the consideration of our heavenly Father—stooping down to the couch of his sick child—softening the sickness by a thousand nameless kindnesses—alleviating suffering, and mitigating pain. Would you learn the Lord’s touching tenderness towards His people? Go to the sick chamber of one whom He loves! Ten thousand books will not teach you what that visit will. Listen to the testimony of the emaciated sufferer—“His left hand is under my head, His right hand does embrace me.” What more can we desire? what stronger witness do we ask? What! is Jesus there? Is His loving bosom the pillow, and is His encircling arm the support, of the drooping patient? Is Christ both the physician and the nurse? Is His finger upon that fluttering pulse, does His hand administer that draught, does He adjust that pillow, and make all that bed in sickness? Even so. Oh, what glory beams around the sick one whom Jesus loves! Trace it, too, in the grace which He measures out to the languid sufferer. The season of sickness is a season, in the Christian’s life, of especial and great grace. Many a child of God knew his adoption but faintly, and his interest in Christ but imperfectly, until then. His Christianity was always uncertain, his evidences vague, and his soul unhealthy. Living, perhaps, in the turmoil of the world secular, or amid the excitement of the world religious, he knew but little of communion with his own heart, or of converse with the heart of God. No time was extracted from other and all-absorbing engagements, and consecrated to the high and hallowed purposes of self-examination, meditation, reading, and prayer— elements entering essentially and deeply into the advancement of the life of God in the soul of man. But sickness has come, and with it some of the costliest and holiest blessings of his life. A degree of grace, answerable to all the holy and blessed ends for which it was sent, is imparted. And now, how resplendent with the glory of Divine grace has that chamber of sickness become! We trace it in the spirit and conduct of that pale, languid sufferer. See the patience with which he possesses his soul; the fervor with which he kisses the rod; the meekness with which he bows to the stroke; the subduing, softening, humbling of his spirit, once, perhaps, so lofty, fretful, and sensitive to suffering. These days of weariness and pain, these nights of sleeplessness and exhaustion, how slowly, how tediously they dray along! and yet not an impatient sigh, nor a murmuring breath, nor an unsubmissive expression breaks from the quivering lip. This is not natural—this is above nature. What but Divine and especial grace could effect it? Oh, how is the Son of God, in His fullness of grace and truth, glorified thereby! - Octavius Winslow