HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.–Luke 15:28
The Hardest Trials Are Those That Reach Us from Equals
And that leads me to say this in passing, and it is well that we should not forget it. Perhaps there are no trials so hard to bear as the trials that reach us from our equals. The psalmist, you remember, felt that when he was suffering from an act of treachery. What made it doubly hard to bear was this, that it was perpetrated by a man his equal. Had it been anyone else he could have borne it–anyone mightier or less than he, but the sting of it all first lay in this, that it was an equal who was base.
As it was then, so is it still today, and it helps us to be strong when we remember it.
Trials from inferiors are bad enough, trials from superiors are worse, but trials from our equals are worst of all, and I shall tell you why it is so.
The reason is that trials from our inferiors are trials from which we always can escape.
We can return again to our own levels, and leave thus the sphere of our vexations. But from the trials of our equals, there is no such refuge–our equals are our habitual environment–and therefore always, every day we live, we are exposed to the buffet or the thorn. It is thus that the trials of our nearest may be blessed in a more certain way than any others. There is no one we can fly to except God; there is no one we can lean on except God. Tried by inferiors we have still our equals, in whose society we are secure. Tried by our equals every refuge fails, and “hangs my helpless soul on Thee.”
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW ….