“[O]ur mind never rises seriously to desire and aspire after the future, until it has learned to despise the present life” John Calvin (ref#113, p465).
Prayer Answered by Crosses
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this , I trembling cried,
Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to see thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.” John Newton (hymnary.org)
“[I]t is no small profit to be robbed of our blind selflove so that we become fully aware of our weakness” John Calvin (ref#313, p50).