God truly does bring good from negative circumstances. We can’t predict what lies ahead (what a blessing that is!), but we can depend on God using it to bring us to a closer relationship with Him. And that always gives our hearts the peace and joy He wants us to experience. God is good all the time. In the midst of good and bad alike.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
More Love to Thee
A woman by the name of Elizabeth Prentiss was known for her quick wit and for her happiness in and devotion to her family. Though strong in spirit, however, she was physically frail almost to the point of being an invalid. And she suffered greatly from the loss of two children. In her journal she wrote, "Empty hands, a worn-out, exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has so many sharp experiences." Her words tell a story of inconsolable grief.
Life may be happy and carefree for us one day and then, boom! Something happens to bring us down into despair. Or perhaps our despair creeps up on us slowly until it becomes too heavy to bear. At times we may long to flee from our harsh world.
Elizabeth Prentiss’s faith remained firm, however. One day while meditating on the Bible story of Jacob and how God met him in a special way during his time of need and sorrow, she prayed that she too might have a similar experience. Out of her time of meditation came the inspired words to the hymn—"More Love to Thee." The words have become a universal prayer for believers everywhere.
"More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee! Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee; this is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee … Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest; now Thee alone I seek—give what is best; this all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee … Let sorrow do its work, send grief and pain; sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain, when they can sing with me, more love, O Christ, to Thee … Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise; this be the parting cry my heart shall raise; this still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee."
During this season of meditating on Christ’s death and resurrection, we can be encouraged by His example. Knowing what faced Him, He remained focused on demonstrating His Father’s love to those around Him.
The words to this old hymn remind us to look beyond our problems, resolving to love Christ more and more, regardless of our circumstances.
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)
Lord, like Elizabeth Prentiss, we pray for our hearts to love You more so we can show Your love to everyone we meet. In Jesus’ name, amen.