I am extremely thankful for godly older women who had the foresight to write down practical Biblical teaching for the next generation (wisdom thinks ahead!). I am thankful that my daughters and I can benefit from them today and that they are preserved for future generations of Christian women!
I love reading the writings of Puritan women. And I was encouraged by this excerpt from Ruth Bryan, who lived from 1805-1860. She talks about how God allows us to go through trials and failures to bring us to the place where we are seeking only Him.
This is an excerpt from a letter:
He plunges us in the ditch!
Our Father has determined that Christ shall be all,
and we nothing.
To accomplish this experimentally, He undoes our work.
When we have been washing with soap, He plunges us in the ditch!
When we seem to be getting on a little better than usual, He
turns us upside down.
This is hard work, and while the process is going on, we think it must be for
destruction, for we appear to grow worse
But in truth it is for salvation—
to show ourselves to ourselves,
to bring us to forsake ourselves,
and to give us Christ, instead of ourselves.
Oh, what a blessed exchange!
It is worth being spoiled in all the labor of our
hands, and marred in our very best things—to
possess such a treasure!
There can be no drinking of the ‘living waters’ while
we have a price in our hand, be it much or little.
There can be no buying the gospel wine and milk
while we have any money.
There can be no triumphing
in “the Lord our righteousness,” while we are hunting
about for shreds of our own, and sewing them together.
All this is Christ-rejecting and God-dishonoring!
Therefore be not cast down at the Lord’s ways towards
you, for if we are anything, or have anything—Jesus
cannot be everything. And if He is not everything, He
is nothing. He must be all—
for acceptable appearing before God,
for suitable walking before men,
for holy living,
for happy dying.
In short, our Father has “blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in Him.”
And the reason we do not enjoy them more is because we
seek them in ourselves!
Oh to have the single eye which looks at Jesus only!
Then would our whole body be “full of light.”
But thus to venture right away from self is a
venture indeed—and can only be done by the
power of the Holy Spirit.