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“I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contented condition, when suddenly a stab of pain threatens serious disease, or a newspaper headline threatens us all with destruction.

“At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happiness look like broken toys. And perhaps, by God’s grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys.

“Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation in only too clear. God has had me for but 48 hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe the sword for a minute, and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over—I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness in the nearest flower bed.

“And that is why tribulation cannot cease until God sees us remade.”

From The Problem of Pain; used by permission of William Collins Sons and Co., Ltd. quoted in Daily Walk, May 16/17, 1992

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