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But here "He healed their sick." Can He heal the sick now? Can He take away my illness, and make me strong ?
Yes, certainly. Не can do all that He did then. I believe in my Lord's perfect power over all disease and weakness. I believe these two things — that He pities me much as He pitied any sick person in that crowd, and that He can heal me
as He healed them.
My Saviour, my gracious and loving Lord, I lift my heart to Thee. In Thy tender compassion put forth Thy mighty power for me.
I ask for no miracle, I ask not to be made well in a moment; but I ask Thee to bless the medicine I take, to check the progress of disease, and to cause my body to recover strength. I know Thou canst; Lord, is it Thy will ? Wilt Thou in this way show Thy pity, Thy marvellous lovingkindness, to me, and, in me, to those who love me? If it be Thy will, O my Saviour, show Thy pity thus, put forth Thy healing power for me.
But I will leave all to Thee. Enough
that Thou pitiest me, and canst do all, and that Thou knowest what is best. Health and strength are precious, but they are not the only gifts Thou hast to bestow. Thou hast many blessings for invalids. Give me, O my Saviour, give me a full portion, in sickness or in health, in weakness or in strength. Should it please Thee to keep me weak, then by the mighty power of Thy grace, turn weakness itself into blessing, and make pain and illness means and channels of good. Only grant me to abide in Thee more and more closely.
And oh, my Father, I rejoice that I may call Thee by that name, taught by my Saviour Himself, and may come to Thee through Him as Thy child.
“ Like as father pitieth his own children : ” that is how Thou dost pity me, thus it is that Thou art merciful to me who fear Thee, and trust in Thee, and love Thee. Enough! A pitying Father, a compassionate Saviour, all-knowing, almighty, infinitely wise and good,--what more can I want? Thou, o my Father, wilt do all things for me. Thou
wilt give me Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify to me weakness and illness and pain; and whatever is best for me in soul or body, that Thou wilt give me for Thy dear Son's sake.
THOUGHTS OF THE PAST.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy
testimonies.”—Psalm cxix. 59.
WHILE I lie here alone, I have many thoughts. Many of my thoughts are about the past, and especially about my own past ways. My thoughts about my past life are different from what they used to be ; many things I see in quite a new light. When I look back I see many things to be wrong, which I did not see to be wrong at the time; things that I did without much thought, or because other people did them. If it did strike me that they were not exactly right, still I did not think them very wrong, and in general, my conscience gave me little trouble. But it is not so now. It is as if a new light shone on the past. I am very sorry for some things
- for some habits of life, for some ways of speaking, for much in my general conduct, and for some particular actions. I think of these things, and they weigh on my mind. I see sin in them now, and they make me
Lord, are these thoughts from Thee? Some to whom I have mentioned them call them morbid. But I do not think they are morbid, I think they are true. Is it not that Thou hast opened my eyes, and shown me the truth? Is not this conviction of sin ? Is it not the work of Thy Spirit ?
I am told to consider my ways, to call my ways to remembrance, to examine myself. I cannot be wrong therefore in thus dwelling on the past; and surely it is not surprising that when I do, I find evil there; and if I find evil, it must be of God that I am sorry for it, and mourn for it, and desire forgiveness. Oh no, this is not morbid; this is real and wholesome and true. And, painful as such thoughts are, I would far rather have them than think of these things as I used to think in my carelessness and hardness.