In Green Pastures by J R Miller
All the passages below are taken from J R Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems.”
I am glad that you are so comfortable and so hopeful, that you have the assurance of your physicians that you will get well and strong again. This certainly is very encouraging. While you trust the physicians and follow their prescriptions, you want to make earnest prayer each day that God will use the physicians and bless their medicines and means, for, after all, there is only one Healer.Your life is in God’s hands and, whatever skill physicians may have, the blessing of God is necessary to make it effective. I am going to pray for you a great deal, that God will use all the skill of your doctors and put his power into the means that are employed, that you may get strong and well again and have a long life of service.
It will add very much also to all that can be done, if you will keep your heart at perfect peace, without any anxiety or fear, trusting God and not being afraid. I would like to help you into the sweetest possible trust. You speak of your religious life as not having given you quite the comfort that you would like to have from it. Let me say to you, my child, that true religion is simply friendship with Jesus Christ. He is your Friend, he loves you, he gave himself for you, he lives and is with you all the while. This is the first thing for you to remember. You cannot see him — but no human friend can come so close to you as Christ is all the time. No human friend loves you, no mother, no husband, so tenderly, so warmly, as Christ does. Then, the best human friends are sometimes out of your reach. You cannot have their companionship always. But Christ is never out of your reach, never away from your side — but always is with you, closer than the air you breathe.
Your part is to believe this and to accept the love and friendship of Christ. You know what it is to let a friend into your heart, to believe in him, to trust him, to become more and more confiding and trustful as the days go on and as your experience deepens. I want to help you to realize the friendship of Christ in just the same way. There is a verse which says, “Whom not having seen, you love.” If you believe that Christ loves you with an infinite, everlasting love, and that he is always with you, and then simply abandon yourself to that love, let him into your heart, open every door of your being to him, learn to trust him as a little child trusts the mother when lying in her bosom — then you will find that Christ will become more and more real to you.
It is not church-going and Bible-reading and doing certain religious acts, which make up a life of faith. After all, as I have said, it is nothing but close personal friendship with Christ. It is my earnest prayer to God that you will realize this more and more.
You ask why God has laid his hand upon you in this way, and you suggest that probably he has some lesson to teach you. God always has lessons to teach us in every experience of our life. I cannot tell what the lesson is in your case. But I am sure of this, that you can make this time of waiting, a time for learning trust in God, for learning patience, and for the bringing of your soul into sweet accord with God’s will. There is a phrase in the Twenty-third Psalm which I like to quote — “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” Sometimes we do not care to lie down, to rest — but would rather go on in our own way. But God knows that we need the rest — and so he makes us lie down. But notice that it is in “green pastures.” That is, wherever God calls us to rest there is blessing about us, and we need not be afraid.