Learning to Lean On Christ In Suffering

Date: January 23, 2023

For many years Drs. Paul and Margaret Brand were dedicated medical missionaries in India.

Because they raised their six children away from any large city, whenever the family returned to England for a visit, the youngest ones saw London with fresh eyes. On one trip, the family went to see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral and other great sights of central London. The children spotted Big Ben, the famous clock on the Parliament building. Their father told them how during World War 2, the chiming of the clock at 9 o’clock was a signal for a time of prayer for the country. Trish, nine years old, asked, “Who winds Big Ben. Before her father could answer, her six-year-old sister piped up, “God does, of course!”

Dr. Margaret described this as a moment of clarity for her–a precious reminder from a child that, as Psalm 31 says, our times are in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15). Then she added, “How impatient I can be and wonder why God takes so long to answer prayer…. How often I need to remember that He is the one who “winds up” my Big Ben! His timing is always right.”[i]

At one time the writer of Psalms was going through some terribly painful experience. We’re not sure exactly what it was, but he cried out, “My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6:3).

Perhaps that’s the cry of your heart. Your circumstances are almost unbearable, and you don’t know how much longer you can hold out. Remember, God is the one who “winds up” the clock of your life and, as Dr. Margaret Brand writes, “His timing is always right.”

[i] Dr. Margaret E. Brand with Dr. James L. Jost, Vision for God (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2006), p. 233.