C.S. Lewis famously said that while God whispers to us in our pleasures, he shouts to us in our pains. And, indeed, as we pass through trials and afflictions we find that God speaks his truths to us in fresh and encouraging ways. And then it’s also true that we tend not to appreciate our pleasures until they are contrasted by pains—and that’s the point of this lovely quote by J.R. Miller which I trust you’ll enjoy reading and reflecting upon.
We do not know what God is to us—until, in some way, we lose the sense of his presence and the consciousness of his love. This is true of all our blessings. We do not know their value to us until they are lost or imperiled.
We do not prize health until it is shattered and broken, and we can never have it restored again.
We do not recognize the richness and splendor of youth until it has fled, with all its glorious opportunities, and worlds cannot buy it back.
We do not appreciate the comforts and blessings of Providence until we have been deprived of them, and are driven out of warm homes into the cold paths of a dreary world.
We do not estimate the value of our facilities for education and improvement, until the period of these opportunities is gone, and we must enter the hard battle of life unfurnished and unequipped.
We do not know how much our friends are to us—until they lie before us silent and cold. Ofttimes the vacant chair, or the deep, unbroken loneliness about us—is the first revealer of the worth of one we have never duly prized.
The lesson, of course, is to reflect on every blessing as we enjoy it and to return thanks to God for each and every one.