"'WHEN he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?' And who but he, the 'God of all comfort,' can give quietness in the midst of tumults which rise upon the soul like sudden storms upon the sea? Like ocean mariners in peril, we cry unto him, and he bringeth us to the desired havenblessed havenof quietness and peace in God.
"What is the cry which brings this answer of peace? It is not a prayer that all occasion for disturbance shall be removed, for it is not always the divine will to bring peace to the human spirit in that way; it is not always the best way. But there is a cry which never fails to bring the quietness in which none can 'make trouble.' It is a prayer for sweet, trustful, loving acquiescence in the will of God.
"What is it which disturbs my spirit? Is it anxiety about my work, my finances, my reputation, my friends? Suppose my Father in heaven should hear my prayer and remove every apparent cause for unrest in regard to one or all of these matters to-day. That would not give settled peace, for in a life so full of uncertainties as this, new occasions of anxiety would probably arise to-morrow.
"But if I say, 'Lord, let each one of these matters which concern my peace of mind so closely be under thy control; order all entirely according to thy will, for thou art my Father and my Friend; thy will is that [R2058 : page 260] thy children should have the very best in all things; and thou knowest what is best for me,' what a place of rest is that! How the sense of too heavy responsibility rolls off; how the distracting care is shifted from the heart too weak to bear it to the strong shoulder upon which the government of all things rightfully and easily rests.
"If this experience of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, is not realized at once, we must not be discouraged. It is not only of a great price as to value, but it often costs a great price to gain it.
"It follows successive battles, often repeated self-surrender, and multiplied trials in which the unfailing care and love of God have been clearly manifested. We were watching the sea waves under the northeast wind; how disturbed and dark they were! Suddenly, with a fierceness that seemed cruel, the rain fell in torrents, and the unresisting waters grew perfectly calm as under an overwhelming surprise. When the storm had passed, the setting sun shone gloriously, and the quieted waters were beautiful in colors of rose and gold.
"Nature has its spiritual correspondences. Surprise comes upon surprise, sudden, overwhelming. The spirit which once tossed restlessly in chafing winds of lesser trials sinks in sweet submission under heavier griefs. We learn that even in the storm God was, and at last his conscious love, his abiding presence, his unvarying peacethe beauty of Godlikenessglorify the character and life." Selected.