“All my longings lie open before you, O Lord. My groaning is not hidden from You!” Psalm 38:9
One of the strongest and sweetest consolations which God gives to His sick and afflicted ones, is the assurance that He not only “knows their sorrows,” and tenderly sympathizes with them in their griefs — but that the appointment of every trial proceeds from Him, and that its whole course and continuance are watched by Him with infinite love and care. As a physician keeps his finger on a suffering patient’s pulse, that he may know just the limit to which pain may be safely endured — so does our God hold our right hand, while we are passing through the furnaces of trial which lie on our road to Heaven, that He may support us through them, and bring us forth in due time to praise Him for His comforting and sustaining grace!
This text came as a precious cordial to my fainting spirit, as I lately lay upon a bed of languishing. Awaking at a very early hour one morning, during my recent illness, I found myself in an extremity of bodily pain and anguish. I tried to pray — but rational thought was an impossibility; groans and tears were the only expression I could give to my suffering — and even these were subdued and hushed, lest the sleeping household should be disturbed.
Then, some blessed, heavenly ministrant whispered the sweet message to my soul, “Your God knows all about you! He sees your grief, He hears your groans! There is a telephone from your lips — to His heart, and every sigh is recorded there! No darkness, no distance, no dividing distress of any kind — can separate you from His constant care. He would spare you every one of these sore pains — were it not that He sees that they are working some ultimate blessing for you. Yield yourself absolutely to His will and appointment — and you will find peace even in pain.”
So I praised Him with sighs and groans, and in silence; and I felt that the tears which ran down my cheeks were all “put into His bottle,” for He came very near to me, and “as one whom his mother comforts,” so did He comfort me. He did not then remove my pain — but He so strengthened me to endure it, and to rest patiently in Him, that I look back on those hours with joy, as a season of hallowed communion with my God.
To all the Lord’s sorrowful and afflicted ones, whether their groans are on account of sin, or sickness, or anguish of heart — I pray that my experience may be an encouragement. Do remember, dear friend, that the God you love, the Master you serve — is never indifferent to your grief, or unwilling to hear your cry!
“He knows the meaning of our tears,
The language of our groans!”
David said truly, “I will be glad and rejoice in Your love — for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul!” And David’s God is your God, with the added blessedness of the revelation of Jesus Christ the Savior, whose Divine compassion is as infinite as His power.
In time of trouble, the soul is greatly helped by cherishing great thoughts of God; they are sure to induce . . .
great longings after Him,
great faith in Him, and
great love towards Him.
And thus, being filled with His fullness — we soar above and beyond all the earthly distractions and disturbances which surround us, and seek to cast us down.
Pain, whether bodily, mental, or spiritual — is always unwelcome; and at first sight, wears an aspect which alarms and discomforts us. But it is often an angel in disguise; and many a time we have found that, underneath its terrible exterior, there are hidden . . .
the tender smiles of God’s love,
the gentle discipline of His teaching, and
the sweet pity of His marvelous forbearance.
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning!” Psalm 5:1
— Susannah Spurgeon