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His permission and His appointments are equally His will. Job thought so, for though Satan blasted his prosperity he said: "The Lord hath taken away." Joseph thought so, for he said: "It was not you that sent me down here, but God." David thought so, because he said: "God hath let Shimei curse; let him curse." Jesus thought so, because when Judas came into the garden to arrest Him He said: " The cup that My Father giveth Me to drink, shall I not drink it?" Though it had been brought to His lip by a Judas, it had been mixed by His Father.
Now it seems to me as if you and I are enclosed in God. An arrow comes from the enemy's bow. A man that hates me writes an anonymous letter. Some one defrauds me. Some woman sets an unkind story afloat about me. The evil travels towards me. If God liked, He could let the arrow pass this way or that. But if my God opens and permits the evil to pass through His encompassing power to my heart, by the time it has passed through God to me, it has become God's will for me. He permits it, and that is His will for my life. I do not say that that man will escape his just doom. God will deal with him. I am not going to worry myself about him. In early days I would have taken infinite pains to avert the evil that men wished to do me, or perhaps to repay them, or to show that the evil was perfectly unwarranted. I confess that I have ceased to worry about it. If you silence one man you will start twenty more. It is ever so much better for peace of mind to accept the will of God, to accept His permission and His appointment, to look up into His face, and say: "Even so, Father."
Someone says: "Sir, before you go on, I want you to answer this question. Five months ago I had the loveliest little baby boy that ever mother fondled. My husband and I perfectly doted upon that little fellow. He took sickly, and we hung over him and prayed for him, and did everything we could for him. He closed his eyes one day in death, and I have never been able to feel resigned since then. Am I very wicked?"
"What do you mean by 'not feeling resigned'?" "Well, I shed floods of tears when I am alone." "My dear woman, that is all right. Jesus wept. He gave you power to weep, and tears relieve the over, tired, over wrought system. Cry on till God shall wipe every tear away."
Do you say: " Sir, I do not quite mean that; I feel as though I cannot forgive God about it. I cannot feel as though I can say yes."
"No, because you are beginning in the wrong part of your nature. God asks you to will submission, and the emotions will follow suit. You cannot begin by feeling resigned, but you can begin by willing resignation. Say to Him: ' I will Thy will.' "
"But I do not feel it."
"Never mind! Say it a hundred times a day: ' I will Thy will,' and within a week you will change your note, and instead you will say; ' I choose Thy will.' By saying that a hundred times a day for a week, you will change your note again: ' I delight in Thy will.' "
We begin by willing it, we come to choose it, and we end by delighting in it. And that is