Shortly before Scottish missionary John G. Paton died, a friend said to him, “I am sorry to see you lying on your back.” Smiling, Paton asked, “Do you know why God puts us on our backs?” After his friend answered no, the missionary replied, “In order that we may look upward!”
Another Christian who viewed suffering from the right perspective was songwriter Eugene Clark. Afflicted with severe rheumatoid arthritis and glaucoma, Clark spent the last 10 years of his life bedridden. Yet he continued composing songs and writing articles to the glory of God. His music continued to enrich the lives of countless thousands through his ministry on Back to the Bible. Though down physically, he learned to keep looking up.
Sunny skies, worry-free days, and calm nights are not always the best environment for developing spiritual stamina. It is often in the hour of affliction that we draw close to our loving Heavenly Father. Commenting on this, James H. Brookes said, “Sickness is a rough but thorough teacher of experimental theology, and it almost compels the soul of the believer to stay itself upon God.”
...Being down teaches us to look up. - P.R.V.