In due time. After that ye have suffered awhile. In due season the Lord trieth the righteous. Hereby qualities are produced and brought out that otherwise were hidden and non-existent. The process is severe, afflictive, terrible sometimes, but the fruits, if we endure faithfully, are precious, grand, glorious—worth all they may cost, and how much more only eternity will reveal. We should not know all the pity and tenderness of the Saviour, did we not suffer in the furnace. Are not our most exquisite religious enjoyments born of, or at least administered during severe trial? It was during Jacob's flight from his murderous brother—and himself was by no means blameless—that he had the vision of the ladder and angels. It was when Elijah was so distressed and disheartened that he wished to die, that the angels repeatedly awakened and fed him, and then the wonderful vision at the cave was added. It was right in the hottest possible furnace that the Hebrew children found the form of the fourth beside them. And Daniel, did it not pay for him to pass a night with the lions to find them turned into lambs by the power of a heavenly keeper? I judge Paul and Silas never regretted the inner prison and stocks after their miraculous deliverance.
But have we not an experience of our own to tell us that it is in time of greatest extremity that heaven's richest grace is vouchsafed? We may have waited for the due time and become somewhat exhausted and disheartened, but the time of the singing of birds did come, and they sang never so sweetly!