Daily Devotionals: (May 11th): A Prayer in Fatherly Chastisement

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.” Isaiah 26:16   

O God, I come to You this morning, rejoicing in the simple but sublime assurance that “the Lord reigns.” Your judgments are often “a great deep.” May it be mine ever to own Your sovereignty and to rest satisfied with the assurance, “He has done all things well.”

It is indeed my comfort to know that “my times” are not in my own hands, but in Yours. When in vain I seek to explain the mystery of Your inscrutable doings, may I be enabled implicitly to trust Your unswerving rectitude and faithfulness. The kindest and best of earthly parents may err—they may be betrayed into unnecessary harshness and severity—but You, O unerring Parent, will not, and cannot inflict one unneeded stroke. I can own Your wisdom where I cannot discern it. I can trust the footsteps of love where I cannot trace them.

I look back with adoring wonder on all Your marvelous dealings towards me in the past. “When my foot slipped, Your mercy, O Lord, held me up.” How many tear-drops have been dried by You! How many sorrows have been soothed by you! How many dangers have been averted by you! Instead of wondering at my trials, I have rather reason to marvel at Your forbearance. What are my heaviest afflictions in comparison with the deservings of my sin? Lord, if they had been in proportion to my guilt, I could not have had one hour of joy.

Lord, give me grace not only to bear all, and to endure all, but to glory in all which Your chastening love sees fit to appoint.

Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.

John Ross Macduff was born at Bonhard, near Perth, on May 23, 1818. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire,  in 1842. In 1849 he moved to St. Madoes, Perthshire, and in 1855 to Sandyford, Glasgow. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and from the University of New York about the same time. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, moved to Chislehurst, Kent where he died in 1887.

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