For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:…
If God's chastisements make you better, thank God for them. Those unfeeling words, that cold look, and that indifferent way of Christ — what gush of feeling they brought out of this woman's soul! That pushing away — how it brought the pleading hands out, as it were! How it caused every tendril and fibre of her heart to clasp and cling to the Saviour, and made her refuse to let Him go! It was out of the apparent winter of His face that her summer came. It was out of His repulsion that her blessing came. Any dealing that makes you better inside is beneficial. And do not feel when God is dealing with you severely that He has forgotten you. It takes a great while to answer some prayers. One day an acorn looked up and saw an oak tree over it, and did not know that this tree was its father, and pleaded with Nature, saying, "Make me such a one as that." So the squirrel took it, and raced off with it towards its nest; and on the way he dropped it on a ledge where there was a little soil, and lost it. There it germinated, and its roots struck down. And after a year the little whip cried, "I did not pray to be a little whip; I prayed to be like that oak tree." But God did not hear. The next year it grew and branched a little; but it was not satisfied; and in its discontent it said: "O Nature, I prayed that I might be like that voluminous oak, and now see what a contemptible little forked stick I am." Another year came, and the winter froze it, and the summer storms heat on it, and it tugged away for its life, and its roots ran out and twined themselves around rocks and whatever else it could get hold of, and fed on the hillside. So it grew and grew till a hundred years had passed over it. Then behold how on the hillside it stands firm, and defies the winter storms and tempests. Then behold how it spreads itself abroad, and stands an oak indeed, fit to be the foundation of a prince's palace, or the keel of a ship that bears a nation's thunder round the globe! You cannot he transformed in an instant. You cannot be changed between twilight and sunrise. When, therefore, you pray that God will regenerate your nature, will you not give Him time to do such a work. When you pray for the reconstruction of your character, will you not wait till God can perform such an act of mercy? If, looking at the interior, He sees that the work can be expedited, He will expedite it; but you must be patient.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: