Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
The little things which we are apt to desire and to lay out for ourselves as a path to heaven in, let us refer them wholly to the will and wisdom of our heavenly Father. It is our privilege that, as His children, we may lay them before Him and pray Him to bestow them if for His glory and our good; but in nowise let us choose for ourselves, but continually give up ourselves and all things which concern us into the hands of the Lord, and say, "Choose our inheritance for us."
Alas! we would make a foolish choice if left to our own will, our own wisdom! We would soon be undone if left to our own conduct. Let us not attempt it. There is a snake in the grass of those pleasing things which we desire to lie down in, which the Lord denies us of, that we do not see, which would soon destroy the health and comfort of our souls.
We naturally love smooth things, but alas, we have so much roughness in us that we must have rough things to smooth us. It is well we have a Father that loves us infinitely—who is infinitely wise and well knows how to make us as glorious as He designs us—who will not spare for our crying, but will pare off our knots and blemishes, and hew and carve us into gracious pieces of His workmanship—whatever labor it costs Him—whatever sharp things are needful to be used on us—or whatever blows are requisite to be given us.
Come, my brother, let us give up ourselves into our all-wise, all-gracious, and almighty Father's hands! He will work us into the image, the glorious image, of Jesus! And what does it matter which way He does it? If this blessed work is done we shall rejoice and praise Him forever; aye, and let me say, we shall admire and praise all the ways that He took to do it in, when we see, with the veil cast off, all those exceeding riches of His infinite grace, wisdom, and prudence, which have been expended and laid out upon us therein. Oh, we shall admire and adore all the Lord's ways with us, which are mercy and truth. We shall see and say, they were like God—worthy of God—of His great Being—of His glorious art!
Until then, let us live by faith, and in the obedience thereof shroud ourselves under the shadow of Jehovah's wings, and cry unto Him continually, under a deep sense of our utter insufficiency—and of His all-sufficiency to guide us by a right way all through this valley of misery, until He has brought us unto Himself in glory!