Casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.—1Pe_5:7.
1. These words follow others of great significance: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.” The two verses taken together state this truth, that anxiety carries with it a division of faith between God and self—a lack of faith in God, proportioned to the amount of care which we refuse to cast on Him; an excess of self-confidence, proportioned to the amount which we insist on bearing ourselves. If we refuse to let God carry for us what He desires and offers to carry, pride is at the bottom of the refusal. Therefore, the Apostle says, “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Confess the weakness of your hand. Do not try to carry the anxiety with your weak hand. Cast it all on Him. Believe that He cares for you, and be humbly willing that He should care for you.”
2. The Revised Version has brought out a very important distinction by the substitution of “anxiety” for “care.” Anxiety, according to its derivation, is that which distracts and racks the mind, and answers better to the original word, which signifies a dividing thing, something which distracts the heart, and separates it from God. The word “careth,” on the other hand, used of God (“he careth for you”), is a different word in the original, and means supervising and fostering care, loving interest, such care as a father has for a child.
1. A famous man of letters said of the king whom he served [Louis xi.], “I have seen him and been his servant in the days of his greatest prosperity, but never yet did I see him without uneasiness and care.” Is that for kings only, or do king and subject meet at this point? Thackeray says of the world we all live in, “This is Vanity Fair, not a moral place, certainly, and not a merry one though very noisy. A man as he goes about the show will not be oppressed by his own or other people’s hilarity. An episode of humour or of kindness touches or amuses him here and there, but the general impression is more melancholy than mirthful.” Care would seem, then, to be a common plague, which, late or soon, begins to furrow every face; and most of us know so much of it and so little of its remedy, that it may well seem wasted labour for a man to talk to his fellows of the cure of care.
Atra Cura—Black Care—was familiar to the light-hearted Roman poet. It was impossible to ride away from it; wherever the traveller went, it went with him.
Horses! landlord, and six good pair
To bear the old Lord back to town,
Far from the broad lands gay with clover,
Far from the rolling grassy down.
Flog the horses, post-boys, faster;
Let us fly like a ship before the wind,
In the heart of these dull old country mansions
The old Hag Care we have left behind.
’Tis all in vain,
For close beside our sleeping master
There sits the old black Hag again.
After all these years of Christ the hard tyranny of circumstance is unloosened. Perhaps it never pressed so heavily as of late. Every morning there rises the great army of the careworn to take up the daily toils with sinking heart. Every day competition grows more savage, and success more difficult. Every day the sensibilities and aspirations of youth are being killed by the pressure of low necessities. What is music to the man waiting for the footfall of his creditor? What is poetry or philosophy to one intent on the fateful telegram which brings word that his venture has failed? “We can live without poetry and religion and philosophy,” such is the cry, “but not without food or clothing or shelter, and these are at hazard.” Many of the best hearts in the world are broken by such thoughts, and even those in which life remains are well likened to houses in whose eaves the birds of care have built their nests, and where little can be heard but their importunate croakings.1 [Note: W. Robertson Nicoll, Ten-Minute Sermons, 27.]
2. But let us distinguish. There is a proper care, a care that is praiseworthy. The best Christians see that life is scarcely possible and certainly is not useful without some amount of pains. In fact, the chief difference between the man whose life is a noble Christian benefaction and the man whose life is a miserable heathenish failure is that the one is careful and the other is careless. In this sense, care means the diligent use of our faculties. It is the scrupulous discharge of every trust by the good steward and soldier of Jesus Christ. It gathers up the fragments that nothing may be lost. It creates industry, economy, tidiness, the maintenance of families, integrity; and these are all Christian virtues. Any lack of them dishonours God. Disorder, unthrift, uncleanliness, waste, in any house, are vices; and they all follow from carelessness. No amount of religious sentiment will justify them. Care in this sense is what distinguishes the household of a Christian family from the cabin of a barbarian. All growth in goodness, victory over temptation, conversion of bad habits, every kind of human excellence, comes by painstaking; that is, by care. A negligent or improvident Christian is a blemish in the Body of Christ, which ought to be without spot or wrinkle, clean and whole.
You are living not only where you are, but away in another land where your boy is, and you cannot help thinking of the unknown dangers and temptations which may assail him; you feel them lurking like shadows in the corner, threatening you because they concern him. And that is not fault; it is life, it is love, it is motherhood. And the knowledge that you do thus care, and that his disgrace would strike you like a wound, is one of the powers which keep him back from evil. We have other relations within the narrower and wider communities in which our life has grown, but in them all the same assertion holds; and he who takes his place in Church, or town, or nation, lazily, caring only for what affects himself, and unconcerned by any public danger, is rightly marked for men’s contempt. He is not half a man; for a man lives in his community; sharing its burdens, rejoicing in its successes, putting life and thought at its disposal for ends beyond his own advantage. That is how men are made, and it is also how the stiff world is driven forward along ways of progress. For care is one of God’s chief disciplines in fashioning the character of men.1 [Note: W. M. Macgregor, Some of God’s Ministries, 247.]
3. There is also an improper care—the anxiety of the text. It clings to us as a creature of this world clings to this world. It hinders the affections when they try to rise heavenward, and drags them back. It doubts whether Christ is still near at hand and His grace sufficient. It reads the glorious promises of the Gospel with an absent mind, like some unreal legend. It murmurs fretfully, “No trial is like my trial; other troubles I could bear; this has no explanation, no profit, and turns no side of it to the sun.” It grinds at every kind of work it undertakes as in a treadmill, under a taskmaster, rejoicing in no liberty, animated with no hope. All crosses are compulsory. Some cares shoot through us like shocks of neuralgic pain, making us quiver and tremble, as when great griefs concentrate their torture upon us. Other cares press with silent, leaden weights, like the dull aching of the head that drains vigour, drop by drop, out of the brain and all the drooping dependencies of nerve and limbs. The forms of the burden vary. But the heaviness of them all is the heart’s distance from God. The sun is hid. There is no wide horizon, no light springing of the will, no joy to break the bondage of the law. This is earthly care, unprofitable, unreasonable, unholy care—the care that wears out men and women before their time, the care that sours and saddens God’s world, the care that slowly kills the body under the name of a thousand different diseases, and is the beginning of death to the spirit. It is the care you can not, only because you will not, cast upon Him who careth for you.
Brought up in the school of Presbyterian Moderatism, her [Professor Sellar’s mother] piety was cheerful, humble, and reserved, and drew its strength from certain chapters of the New Testament, and its emotion from the beloved Scottish Paraphrases. These we read to her the last thing before she was left for the night, but if her maid happened to come into the room at the time, she would motion to the reader to stop, and make anxious inquiries if there were “rizzered” haddocks and other essentials for the gentlemen’s breakfast. Then with a little apologetic sign she would say, “ ‘Let not your hearts with anxious thoughts be troubled or dismayed’—but I wish I were sure that my sons were quite comfortable!”1 [Note: Mrs. Sellar, Recollections and Impressions, 235.]
Be not much troubled about many things,
Fear often hath no whit of substance in it,
And lives but just a minute;
While from the very snow the wheat-blade springs.
And light is like a flower,
That bursts in full leaf from the darkest hour.
And He who made the night,
Made, too, the flowery sweetness of the light.
Be it thy task, through His good grace, to win it.2 [Note: Alice Cary.]
1. As already noticed, St. Peter at this point makes a significant change of word; he has spoken of our “distracting care” (a word in its etymology related to the common verb to divide), which will not suffer us to be a whole man to any one concern, but keeps us anxiously considering and forecasting risks elsewhere. But God’s care has nothing of this distraction in it; He cares for each as if there were no other life under His charge, and when you meet Him it is an undivided heart that meets you. “He cares not anxiously for you.”
This word “careth” is a far nobler word than that translated “anxiety” (A.V. “care”) in the former part of the text. I like that phrase used by Jean Ingelow, “Much thought is spent in heaven.” It seems to express very largely what is meant by Divine care—“Much thought is spent in heaven” over us. This is the care that is the outcome of interest, regard, and love. Like it the care of the mother for her infant brings with it joy rather than distraction. Have you not noticed what a wonderful power such a care has to focus every emotion, every thought, and every faculty into one point? Ask the mother who cares for that little infant night and day how she views all. She will admit that the care of motherhood has its frets, doubtless, but amidst all she will indignantly deny that such a care distracts; the rather it brings into its channel every thought, every feeling, every energy. It is that which unites the whole being in one service of love. Is there any privilege to compare with such a care?1 [Note: D. Davies, Talks with Men, Women and Children, vi. 383.]
The old world looked upon Paradise as a place without care. It measured the majesty of the gods by their exemption from the cares of humanity. They dwelt on the top of Olympus, and rejoiced all the day in a sunshine whose cloudlessness was its carelessness—its absence of interest in the problems of human want, its recklessness of the fate of those who pine and suffer and die. But Christ opened the door of a new Paradise and let man see in. He gave to the human eye a totally different vision of the nature of Divine majesty. He showed that the majesty of God differed from the majesty of earthly kings not in having less, but in having more care. All earthly kinghood was defective by its inability to lift the whole burdens of a people; the government of the King of kings was supremely great because it could lift the burdens of all. That which distanced God from man was God’s greater power of drawing near to the souls of men. Man held aloof from his brother man, and he had made his gods in his own image; Christ revealed a new image of God, a new thought of the Divine. Christ’s majesty was the majesty of stooping; His cross was His crown. The sceptre which He wielded over humanity was the sceptre of love; because He was chief of all, He became the minister of all; because He was the ruler of all life, He gave His life a ransom for many.2 [Note: G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, 259.]
Literally rendered, the verse reads, “He has you on His heart.” He who fed the prophet by the brook, and kept the widow’s cruse from wasting, and watched over the Israelites in the wilderness, and to whom even the sparrow’s fall is not unnoticed—He has us, each one, on His almighty heart. Why, then, should we be so feverishly anxious, and worry ourselves out of all peace of mind. Why be so foolish as to carry that which the Infinite One will carry for us? Why decline the privilege of casting our care on Him who “has us on His heart”? Let us lighten our load by making God our burden-bearer. Let me from this day take my family cares, and my business cares, and roll them all over by faith and prayer on God, and have no care left except the care to please and honour my Lord. It will be well to get rid of my spiritual anxieties, too, in the same way. Let me lay the care of bringing me through on God. Let me tell God about everything, and burden Him with everything. “No more care,” as the good Leighton says, “but only quiet diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matter.”
O Lord, how happy should we be
If we could cast our care on Thee,
If we from self could rest;
And feel at heart that One above,
In perfect wisdom, perfect love,
Is working for the best.1 [Note: S. L. Wilson, Helpful Words for Daily Life, 19.]
2. We need have no fear that the abandonment of our anxieties will leave us unprovided or undefended. Better provision will be made for us than we could possibly have contrived for ourselves. This is the wealth and the wonder of God’s compassion. Faithful hearts are not only freed from the painful pack that galled them, but, as if their deliverance were not enough, and as if one blessing were only a groundwork for another, the oversight and the foresight they needed are thenceforth furnished for them; patient and willing shoulders receive the load we threw down; eyes of sharper vigilance than ours watch for us. Simply because we are willing to loosen our troubles and let them fly, we have not only peace but plenty. Divine energies that never weary, fidelity that never flags, wisdom that never errs, and affections that never droop or wander, uphold us.
If the father is providing for to-morrow’s needs, why should his little boy leave his play, and lean pensively against the wall, wondering what had better be done? If the pilot has come on board, why should the captain also pace the deck with weary foot? If some wise, strong friend, thoroughly competent, has undertaken to adjust some difficult piece of perplexity for me, and if I have perfect confidence in him, and he assures me that he is well able to accomplish it, why should I fret longer? The thing is as good as done, since he has taken it in hand.
(1) God’s care is the care of a Father.—The God whom we need to help our care is the Father whom Jesus discovered to men. He Himself grasped at multitudes, but He dealt with individuals, giving Himself to each as if there were no other in the world, and emboldening St. Thomas and all the host of his successors in the use of singular pronouns, “My Lord and my God,” said St. Thomas; “He gave himself for me,” said St. Paul. For there was nothing indiscriminate or impersonal in the ways of Jesus, and He taught men that each one of them counts as a separate person with God. If that is true it carries with it everything. The good news takes the sting out of all that men call evil fortune. If He spared not His Son, He will surely with Him give us all things freely. That is the God whom Jesus has brought to us, and in whom we may rest without dismay.
My child is lying on my knees,
The signs of Heaven she reads:
My face is all the Heaven she sees—
Is all the Heaven she needs.
And she is well, yea, bathed in bliss,
If Heaven is in my face—
Behind it all is tenderness,
And truthfulness and grace.
I mean her well so earnestly,
Unchanged in changing mood;
My life would go without a sigh
To bring her something good.
I also am a child, and I
Am ignorant and weak;
I gaze upon the starry sky,
And then I must not speak.
For all behind the starry sky,
Behind the world so broad,
Behind men’s hearts and souls, doth lie
The Infinite of God.
If true to her, though dark with doubt
I cannot choose but be,
Thou, who dost see all round about,
Art surely true to me.
If I am low and sinful, bring
More love where need is rife;
Thou knowest what an awful thing
It is to be a Life.
Hast Thou not wisdom to enwrap
My waywardness around,
And hold me quietly on the lap
Of Love without a bound?
And so I sit in Thy wide space,
My child upon my knee;
She looketh up into my face,
And I look up to Thee.1 [Note: George MacDonald.]
(2) He is a God who considers the least as much as the greatest.—There is a tendency in the human mind to treat God in a wrong way, as “such an one as ourselves.” We are impressed by size, by immensity, by that which in some overwhelming manner touches the imagination. The lofty mountains, the far-expanding sea, the rolling thunders, the immensity of space, the stretching years of time—these touch us. We allow ourselves to suppose that God indeed in His greatness can be moved by a thought of innumerable material worlds, but scarcely by a human anxiety. We do dishonour to God. True greatness consists not only in command of vast views, but also in grasp of details. God’s glorious work is as glorious in the colouring of the grass and the painting of the flowers as in the outline of the varied landscape. We are unjust to God, and we must feel that we are unjust if we allow ourselves to think at all. From our better self we read something of His character.
Will the father who is employed all day in dealing with some vast system of accounts, or some scheme for a nation’s progress, be really less earnest about the sick child by whose bed he kneels when he is home again at night? Will the man who has to fulfil many functions all day long, meet the demands of business, bend his mind to give a dozen judgments, write letters arranging various matters of large interest, which involve many responsibilities—will he really be less earnest about the joys and sorrows of the little girl who has her perplexities or troubles in the schoolroom, about the boy who is separated from him and at some humble work across rolling seas and distant continents?
The whole current of modern thought runs against this faith. It insists on the insignificance of man. It emphasizes the question which Pascal shuddered at. What are we, shut in and lost amidst these frightful wastes of space, encompassed by flaming and unknown worlds? As Mark Rutherford has said, “Our temptation is to doubt whether it is of the smallest consequence whether we are or are not, and whether our being here is not an accident.” The one answer is that for us Christ died. When we turn to the New Testament, we find the unseen ranks of good and evil contending for our souls, and every victory and every defeat an incident in the war of wars. The battle with flesh and blood, which often seems so sore, is hardly worth naming in presence of the graver struggle. Our fight is with principalities and powers, with the spiritual hosts of wickedness. Angels have charge concerning us. They whisper with saving voices when we are on the edge of peril. They bring back the words of Jesus in hours of despondency and gloom. They watch and rejoice over every movement of purity and tenderness. We belong, in a word, to God and Christ and the angels, and though here accounted nothing, it is otherwise in worlds where the measures are true.1 [Note: W. Robertson Nicoll.]
My father’s note on “The Children’s Hospital” is: “A true story told me by Mary Gladstone. The doctors and hospital are unknown to me. The two children are the only characters, in this little dramatic poem, taken from life.”
Miss Gladstone’s letter ran thus:
There was a little girl in the hospital, and as the doctor and nurse passed by her bed they stopped, for her eyes were shut and they thought she was asleep. “We must try that operation to-morrow,” he said, “but I am afraid she will not get through it.” I forget what the child said, until Annie the girl in the next bed suddenly suggested, “I know what I should do, I should ask Jesus to help me.” “Yes, I will, but oh! Annie, how will He know it’s me, when there are such a lot of us in the ward?” “I’ll tell you,” said Annie, “put your arms outside the counterpane.” The next morning the little girl’s arms were outside the counterpane and her eyes were closed. She was dead.2 [Note: Tennyson, ii. 253.]
The Remedy for Anxiety
1. “Casting all your care upon him.” St. Peter says that the condition of being able to cast our care upon God is that we should humble ourselves under His mighty hand. We cannot cast our “anxiety” upon Him unless we submit ourselves to Him. One of the penalties of independence is that we cannot lean upon another. One of the advantages of all true sovereignty and government is that we can look for protection in the measure that we are the subjects of such rule. The independent man, to be consistent, ought to be satisfied with himself and his own resources, and never look to another for assistance or shelter. The moment he seeks aid or sympathy his independence is gone. The truth taught here, therefore, is a self-evident truth to every man who thinks for a moment—that if we would be relieved of some of our distracting cares, the only condition upon which God will relieve us of them is that we subject ourselves to Him.
My Father, it is good for me
To trust and not to trace;
And wait with deep humility
For Thy revealing grace.
Lord, when Thy way is in the sea,
And strange to mortal sense,
I love Thee in the mystery,
I trust Thy providence.
I cannot see the secret things
In this my dark abode;
I may not reach with earthly wings
The heights and depths of God.
So, faith and patience, wait awhile!—
Not doubting, not in fear;
For soon in heaven my Father’s smile
Shall render all things clear.
Then Thou shalt end time’s short eclipse,
Its dim, uncertain night;
Bring in the grand apocalypse,
Reveal the perfect Light.1 [Note: George Rawson.]
2. Having humbled ourselves let us next have faith in God. For beneath such humility there lies a still deeper feeling, the feeling of entire trust. The hand that was found mighty to bruise will be found now mightier to bless. When we not only cease to resist it, but strive to be led by it, we learn to do without caring for ourselves; we can joyfully cast on Him the burden of anxiety which surely grows as life moves on, because we know that He cares for us and has both power and will to give us what we need. Without such confidence humility itself is not possible. Without humility, faith in the righteousness and loving-kindness of God becomes the presumption of those who suppose themselves to be His favourites. Thus all true humbling of ourselves before Him lifts us above the earth and makes us to sit with Christ in heavenly places.
How to trust—that is the question. It is to be such a trust as a child has in its father. What are the characteristics of perfect trust? (1) First, it is a trust that obeys. There is no good in a trust that does not. You may put aside altogether the idea that you are trusting properly, if there is any known thing which your father wants you to do and you don’t do it. After all, obedience is the test of trust. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Those who trust their father obey his lightest word; it is far more than any feeling. It is not a question of working ourselves up into feeling; it is the personal obedience of the child that is the real test. (2) Secondly, it is a trust that works. What more is there to be done here that you have not done? I do not know your lives. If I were speaking to you one by one, and we went into it, I have no doubt I might be able to suggest something which you might do for God that you are not doing. Is this trust we are speaking of simply a trust which issues in no action, which issues in no work for Him? That is not the right kind of trust. When the whole world is crying out for help, ours must be a trust that works. (3) Thirdly, it is a trust that ventures. I think myself that we do not make anything like enough ventures of faith. We are making a venture of faith in the diocese now—a venture of faith in building a theological college for London. At this particular time it is a great venture of faith. And yet I feel it is a venture of faith we are justified in making, in order to have a more efficient ministry in the Church of England. I hope that venture of faith will be recognized by God, and that He will supply us with the funds that we need. But you may have ventures of faith in your individual life. A girl may know she ought not to be in the place where she is, and yet it seems a great venture of faith to leave it. She must make a venture of faith if she trusts. She may not know where she is going. I have seen several off lately to Australia and Africa. It is a great venture of faith for them to go. (4) Fourthly, it is a trust that rejoices, that has “joy in God, whatever happens.” I am certain that the child of God who really believes in this superintending care ought to have more joy; I do not think anything ought to be able to drag us down if we believe it. This childlike trust ought to fill us every day with a real joy that the world can neither give nor take away. (5) Lastly, it must be a trust that rests. “When Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping.” Surely, when you think of it, there is something very touching in the perfect trust of that servant of God: when the very next day he might have been led out to be executed, and probably would have been, he was simply sleeping like a child, secure in the personal presence of the Father.1 [Note: Bishop A. F. W. Ingram, Joy in God, 146.]
3. We must cast our care on God by the energy of prayer. Prayer is the practical expression of hope. While life is sunny and all things seem to be going smoothly, our prayers are apt to be wanting in reality. They are unreal by a failure in earnestness. If we really need and feel our need, then, and not till then, are we earnest in our prayers. Care at least does this for a sincere Christian—it presses upon him a sense of need. And when we need, and when we exert the virtue, the duty, of hope within us, then, not till then, are we in earnest in our prayers. And we fail also by want of simplicity and minuteness. We must learn to tell God all. There is no care, no anxiety, no worry, no distress, no perplexity, too small, if it is lying heavy on our hearts, to be laid on the heart of our Father. “Commit,” says the Psalmist, “thy way unto the Lord.” “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray,” says St. James. How many a believer can testify that he went to the throne of grace heavy in spirit and came away light hearted; or, if not just that, if so to speak he did not leave his burden there, at least he brought away strength that made it comparatively light to bear. Prayer is the casting of our care on God in two ways: first, as it brings us into contact with Divine sympathy; secondly, as it takes hold of Divine strength.
With a true heart upheaving
My small load,
As Thou appointest, Lord, so let me bear
The duty-burden trusted to my care.
And though my face should all be wet
With toilsome sweat;
Show Thou the road—
Enough! no grieving!
But now, my heart, be careful
Lest thou care!
The Lord doth give me daily bread for nought,
And for the morrow doth Himself take thought.
Then let me serve Him, on my part,
With all my heart,
And wait my share
With spirit prayerful.
Ah, Lord! now add Thy blessing
To all I do!
And let Thy grace and help my word attend,
From the beginning even to the end.
Let each day’s burden teach my eyes,
My heart, to rise—
Thy rest pursue—
Thy peace possessing!
4. “Casting all your care upon him.” This little word “all” includes even the trivial and passing anxieties of each day. To suppose that some cares are too insignificant to take to God in prayer is not to honour Him, but unnecessarily to burden ourselves. It has been said that “white ants pick a carcase quicker and cleaner than a lion does,” and so these little cares may even more effectually destroy our peace than a single great trouble, if, in our mistaken reverence for God’s greatness, we refuse to cast them upon Him.
One yelping dog may break our slumber on the stillest night. One grain of dust in the eye will render it incapable of enjoying the fairest prospect. One care may break our peace and hide the face of God, and bring a funeral pall over our souls. We must cast all our care on Him, if we would know the blessedness of unshadowed fellowship.1 [Note: F. B. Meyer, Tried by Fire, 198.]
To trust God with all one is, or hopes for forever, this is True Faith. To trust God with Body, Soul, Spirit; with His Promises, with His Covenant of Grace, with His Christ, with anything whereby I might secure myself from being subject to His pleasure; this is Faith in good earnest, this is Faith founded upon true knowledge: He knoweth God indeed, who dareth thus trust Him. Let others trust God for Salvation, but my spirit can never rest till it dares trust God with Salvation.1 [Note: Isaac Penington.]
5. And let us cast all our care upon Him, not gradually or half-heartedly but once for all. St. Peter uses a past tense for his verb and not a present, by which he suggests that this casting of our care upon God ought to be an act of the beginning. Just as there is no half-forgiveness on His side, so there should be no partial offering of trust on our side. An anxious heart is never a holy heart; and he who has not committed himself and his concerns to the grace and power of God, and done it once for all, has still to make the right start. At the outset, says St. Paul, I suffered loss of all things, and to-day, afresh, I count them but as rubbish that I may gain Christ. There is the irreversible act of the beginning, which is renewed with every day and each temptation. Having cast our care on Him, we cast it day by day afresh; and so the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeps both heart and thought in Jesus Christ.
This does not deny what has been described in the life of a Christian as a “continual exchange of care for peace,” but it does strongly suggest that the strengthening sense of God’s interest in us may depend on our having reached a point when we, by an act of the faith and will co-operating, definitely take up our burden and throw it (so the original suggests) on Him and leave it there, and pass on, lightened and no longer bowed down under the weight of it. So much so may this be true that now, to turn to St. Paul’s words, we add to our “prayer and supplication” thanksgiving, even before we see the fruit of our act, because we are as sure that He has taken from us as that we have cast on Him the burden of our care.
A young lady had consecrated herself to the work of missions, and was about to go to India. Just at that point, an accident disabled her mother, and the journey had to be deferred. For three years she ministered at that bedside, until the mother died, leaving as her last request that she should go and visit her sick sister in the far West. She went, intending to sail for India immediately on her return; but she found the sister dying of consumption, and without proper attendance: and once more she waited until the end came. Again her face was turned eastward, when the sister’s husband died, and five little orphans had no soul on earth to care for them but herself. “No more projects for going to the heathen,” she wrote. “This lonely household is my mission.” Fifteen years she devoted to her young charge; and, in her forty-fifth year, God showed her why He had held her back from India, as she laid her hand in blessing on the heads of three of them ere they sailed as missionaries to the same land to which, twenty years before, she had proposed to go. Her broken plan had been replaced by a larger and a better one. One could not go, but three went in her stead: a good interest for twenty years.1 [Note: M. R. Vincent, God and Bread, 160.]
Human Anxiety and Divine Care
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