In our life to Life group the other night the question of trials and God's care came up and I read this and thought it was well connected. Maybe it will clarify things for you as well.
(James Smith's autobiography, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)
The following in an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:
It has just occurred to me, that the reason why the Lord has of late allowed me to be so severely tried--is that I have been very little at His throne of grace. Nor have His promises appeared so precious, pleadable, and suited to my case.
Jesus is determined to have me often at His throne, and if the invitations and promises of His Word will not draw me there--then He will send trials to drive me there! Blessed Jesus, are you not saying to me by every trial, "Call upon Me! Make use of Me! See what I will do for you!"
What a proof of the deep depravity and base ingratitude of my heart is this--that You are obliged to send trials and troubles to bring me to Your feet! Yet it is so! For unless drawn by the cords of Your loving-kindness, or driven by painful trials--I seldom come to You with earnestness, fervor, and life!
I am so prone to wander, to be light and trifling--troubled by shadows, and excited by mere trifles! I abhor myself because I am vile! O how base my heart is, to despise so glorious a privilege, and to neglect so choice a duty!
O Jesus, cleanse it by Your precious blood!
O Holy Spirit, purify it by Your sacred operations, and keep it by Your power!
O Righteous Father, devote it wholly to Yourself! Give me submission--help me patiently to carry my cross after Jesus, though it is rough, heavy, and galling. From the depths of my heart I can say,
"A sinful, weak, and helpless worm;
On Your kind arms I fall!"
What a proof of the loving-kindness of Jesus to my soul is this--that He will not allow me to be comfortable or happy, while living at distance from Him!
Blessed Jesus! pardon me, correct me--but never leave me to myself! Draw me--or drive me; but never allow me to live long at a distance from You!
Gracious Lord Jesus,
keep me near You,
looking to You,
living for You,
leaning on You,
believing in You, and
expecting from You, all that I need!
Surely this is a sweet life--living on Jesus alone, making Him all in all!
"O bring me to Your sacred feet,
And let me rove no more!"