Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Great Gain in Great Loss

Jesus, my all in all thou art;
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The medicine of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain...
~~Charles Wesley

 So now it's time for another segment of reflections stimulated by my beloved companion to Aunt Jane's Hero. I originally posted most of the following thoughts on my Scraps of Glory blog in February of 2008. Goodness, how time flies. Here it is more than four years later and the same thoughts are still as fresh and new as they were then in my opinion. I have to say that the book itself, well over a century old, is still fresh and new to anybody who would pick it up to read. How wise Mrs. Prentiss was to give us all this in the form of fiction! Now, these thoughts from Chapter 5:

". . .The Young Men's Christian Association opened its arms to him; he became interested in the once-despised Mission School, and once or twice his voice was heard at the weekly prayer-meeting which he never used to attend. He felt, at times, that he had gained through loss; that he was a happier, better man; and yet a voice often whispered in his ear; that next to the love of God he needed the love of a Christian woman."

Horace? Is this speaking of Horace? Yes, a different Horace as you can clearly see. These final lines of the chapter are evidence that the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen to any wandering young man had occurred--he had been brought back to his God. In Horace's case, it had happened as a result of the heavy hand of divine providence. The episode is a stirring account of how our young hero, in the midst of great loss, came into possession of great gain, even Christ. We stand in awe, as if this fictional character were someone we knew.

One night, during prayer time at our church, someone asked prayer for their wayward son. At that point I took a mental excursion around the room and counted four families who have either a son or a daughter who has strayed. As I thought about them, I thought of Horace and what happened to him in this chapter. I don't wish on any of these young people that they'd experience a loss such as the one Horace endured; but, oh, I pray they'll lay hold of his gain. Then, my thoughts went even further to ponder whether any of these parents would just as soon see God have hard dealings with their wandering ones if it's the only way. It's a tough call--to an area of prayer where any parent would tread with trepidation.

[Note: I've intentionally not mentioned what Horace's great loss was. Remember, these posts are little prods to get you to read the book! ~mr]

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