Friday, July 08, 2011

Brooks: abasement

Friday, July 8, 2011
    I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
    —Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
    Not to all men, not to any man always does God give complete abundance. To all men sometimes, to some men in long stretches of their lives, come the abasement times,—times of poverty, times of ignorance, times of friendlessness, times of distrust and doubt; but God does not mean that these times should be like great barren stretches and blanks in our lives only to be travelled over for the sake of what lies beyond. To him who, like Paul, knows how to be abased, they have their own rich value. They do for him their own good work. To have our desire set on nothing absolutely except character, to be glad that God should lead us into any land where there is character to win,—this is the only real explanation of life. He that has it may be more than reconciled to living. He may do more than triumph over his abasements. He may make close friendships with them, so that he shall part from them with sorrow when he is called to go to the right h! and of God where there is no more abasement, nothing but fulness forevermore.
    ... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1904, p. 175 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that I be content with whatever provision You have made.
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