Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Heart of Holy Gratitude

A selection from a letter by Mary Winslow (1774-1854) to her children. She reminds them of the goodness of God in helping her to raise them in a godly home. In the space of a few short days, in the year 1815, she had lost a child in death and her husband. She was left a widow to bring up nine children. She cast herself upon the Lord for help and received a promise in her soul, as she said, “that God was MY God, and my children’s God, and that He would fulfil His word of promise to me and mine. I felt assured that God would not only be a Father to my fatherless ones, but also a Husband to their widowed mother.” No date is given for the letter but it was written when her children were grown.

And now, my beloved children, trace the faithfulness and loving-kindness of God. Compare that period with the present. How was it then? How is it now? Has God not to the letter fulfilled that promise? He has been to you all a Father, and to me, in its fullest sense, the God and Husband of the widow. He has watched over you, spared and protected you, has been your Father, Benefactor, and Friend. Again and again, when you have travelled by land or by sea, when calamity has threatened, or sorrow has bowed you, have I retired to my room and pleaded this promise on your behalf, and He has answered.

I can truly say that in no instance have I called upon the Lord and He has failed me. Oh that He might cause you to lie low in the dust before Him, and give you each a heart of holy gratitude, that the remainder of your days may be devoted to His glory. Beware of tracing you blessings and your deliverances to second causes, lest the Lord Himself rebuke you for this sin.

Heaven Opened: A Selection from the Correspondence of Mrs. Mary Winslow, edited by her son, Octavius Winslow, 1864, reprinted by Reformation Heritage Books, 2001, p. 339.

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