Someone has said, "Every bottle of medicine which comes from God's dispensary is labeled, 'To do thee good at thy latter end' (Deut. 8:16)." Unpleasant, unpalatable the medicine may be, but it is mixed by Him who "is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." Isa. 28:29. He diagnoses our diseases with unfailing skill, and suits His medicines to our condition with perfect accuracy.
Thus we may leave ourselves in the hands of the Great Physician and know that in the "latter end" all will come out for our advantage.
So it was in the case of the patriarch Job. He was passed through fires and floods of distress. We see him stripped of possessions, sorrowing in bereavement, stricken with serious sickness, and crying from the dust, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." If we leave him in that distressful condition, we might wonder indeed! But we have seen "the end of the Lord" in the matter. That which He had in view was the blessing of the sufferer. In "the end" Job was doubly blessed. Humbled and contrite in spirit, he was relieved of the pressure which was upon him. The long, dark tunnel was passed through at last, and he came out into the light and joy of the knowledge of God in a new way altogether.
We have heard of the patience of Job! May it be ours to endure when all that seems adverse comes upon us and when friends may criticize and condemn. If they understand us not, our God and Father knows us perfectly. When "He hath tried" us we "shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10. We shall be cleared from much that was unsuitable to God and unprofitable to us.
We Christians know Him today in a way the patriarch could not. In His great love God has given us His Son, His own Son, His only One. May we not be sure that He will not withhold anything which will be for our true and lasting benefit?
Shall we not "consider the latter end," and cry with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him," remembering that "the end" is in view, "to do us good," and that that end is near at hand.
"Absolutely tender, absolutely true,
Understanding all things, understanding you.
Infinitely loving, exquisitely near,
This is God our Father!
What have we to fear?"
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons