In gearing myself up to begin researching the needed books and resources I will need to assemble the future book on Winslow, I am begining to see that there will need to be an entire chapter (if not an entire book) layed aside for the topic of suffering and pain in the life of the believer. Winslow penned many a sentence on this topic and the more I have read him and the more I review his own historical biography, I am starting to see that he himself was a man well versed in this subject.
But Winslow, I see, thought about this topic aright. He knew of it’s sanctifying powers and it’s ability to bring us more intimately in touch with the life and communion of our Lord. After all, the Lord Jesus was indeed a man of “constant sorrow” and led much of His ministerial life in some form of pain, suffering, or trial. In order to form us into the likeness of our Savior, suffering is a tonic we will all, at some time or another, be made to drink of. There is simply no getting around it.
I am going to have a running series here based on the suffering saint that will run as long as I can find good and solid writings of Winslow on the subject that will not only help me flesh him out a bit as a man, husband, and pastor, but will also, I pray, help some of you who may be in a season of trial, burden, pain, and suffering of some form.
There will be no end date for this series. It will run until I simply can find no more material.
May you be edified I pray.
Our Lord was sensitive to the pain of domestic slight.
It is marvellous to trace the perfect assimilation of His humanity to all the natural circumstances of ours. Was there no betrayal of sensitiveness to this peculiar form of suffering when He quoted the proverb as applicable to Himself- “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and in his own house?” He was as a stranger among His brethren, an alien in His Father’s house.
They doubted Him- slighted Him- insulted Him. Jesus felt the neglect- and felt it keenly. His sensitive spirit was wounded. How many of the Lord’s people are drinking this cup of sadness, are enduring this form of suffering! The icy coldness, the studied slight, the marked neglect of those of your own house, whose confidence, affection, and sympathy you had not forfeited and had a right to possess, is a daily cross, chafing, wounding, fretting the spirit sorely. But your Lord and Master prepared you for this- teaching you the precept, and then enforcing it by His example “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.” “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
How faithfully does our Lord here forewarn His disciples, that love to Him and a profession of His gospel would, in many instances, involve the weakening, if not the entire rupture, of those ties, the closest and the dearest, which bind us to earth’s kindred. The religion of Jesus is a separating religion; it has done but little for us if it has not severed us from the world, and quenched in us the spirit of the world, and separated us from all worldly association, and sympathy with the world’s followers, bound to us though they are by ties which we cannot and may not entirely sunder.
Oh, how extensive and subtle a snare is the world to a disciple of Jesus- to one desirous of living for eternity! Our relations are snares- our friendships are snares- our alliances are snares- our business transactions are snares- our necessary recreations of intellect and taste are snares- and our social and domestic enjoyments are often but pleasant bowers within whose foliage lurks the tempter. If, then, beloved reader, the Lord has given you grace to tread the narrow path of separation- shaded and secluded though it be; if you are called to witness for Jesus and His gospel against the world, error, and sin, surrounded by those with whom you sported in childhood, among whom your youth was trained, who are entwined with associations of later life the sweetest, and with memories of earlier life the most sacred and dear, and yet you are the object of alienated affection, frigid neglect, doubt, and scorn, because you love the Savior- Oh, do not be cast down, as though sonic strange thing had happened to you.
Your Lord and Master, for whom you suffer; suffered all this, and infinitely more, for you; and in sympathy and in love soothes and supports and suffers with you now.