A chequered life
(Letters of John Newton)
This life that we live in the flesh, is a chequered life.
The grain requires both rain and sunshine to bring it to maturity; but either of them without the other, would destroy the crop.
Thus, if we had only the sun of prosperity — the plant of grace would be burnt up.
If we only had the rain of affliction — the plant of grace would be overwhelmed and drowned.
The Lord, who knows exactly what we are, and where we are — adjusts these different means, in season and measure, as He, in His wisdom, sees most for our advantage.
Were health at all times and in all respects best for those who fear Him — then they would not feel a moment's illness!
We pass through so many changes, that when it rains — we may always hope for fair weather.
And when the sky is bright and serene — we may expect rain before long.
He prescribes all our afflictions — in number, weight, and measure, and season, exactly according to what our case requires!
What a mercy to know that all our concerns are in the hands of Him who so loved us, as to wash us from our sins in His own blood.
"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28