Friday, 29 October 2010

"My eye is more to God for comfort"

David Brainerd, missionary to the American Indians, suffered immensely. For the whole of his ministry he suffered with the illness that would kill him. He faced times of depression and lonliness. He had very little of the comforts that we take for granted, often being without suitable food or accommodation. He was frequently exposed to cold and rain which did not help his poor health. Yet for all this he did not look to the food and shelter and other outward comforts for his comfort, his eyes were fixed elsewhere. Listen to what he says in his journal:
Such fatigues and hardship as these serve to wean me more from the earth; and, I trust, will make heaven the sweeter. Formerly, when I was thus exposed to cold, rain, etc., I was ready to please myself with the thoughts of enjoying a comfortable house, a warm fire, and other outward comforts; but now these have less place in my heart and my eye is more to God for comfort. In this world I expect tribulation; and it does not now, as formerly, appear strange to me; I don't in such seasons of difficulty flatter myself that it will be better hereafter; but rather think how much worse it might be; how much greater trials others of God's children have endured; and how much greater are yet perhaps reserved for me. Blessed be God that he makes the comfort to me, under my sharpest trials; and scarce ever lets these thoughts be attended with terror or melancholy; but they are attended frequently with great joy.