TO REJOICE in the Lord when forced to do wrong in His service is a feat few seem to have found feasible. Perhaps the following incident will help us to be happy notwithstanding our own short comings and the imperfection that constantly dogs our steps.

Our printer suggested that we should insert the prospectus for the German version in the November number, so that it would be in time for Christmas. They make much of Christmas here, so from the business standpoint this was a good idea, but we feared he could not do the work in time. But, it was his suggestion, we said yes.

He seems to have had much difficulty, however, and the printing was delayed, so that the magazine was two weeks late or more, waiting for it. So I told him to leave certain improvements like rounded corners until later, and print enough for the magazine as it was. This he did. When we started to fold them, however, we found that, by mistake, he had moved the center column without our knowledge so that the fold went right through it.

We had a perfect right to refuse the job, as we had a proof in which this was correctly placed. But what is right is often fearfully wrong in this administration of grace! We were confident that the printer did not wish to spoil the work in this way for he had tried hard to please us. No vital issues were at stake. God’s glory was not affected, even though our pride was somewhat shattered.

But now the parable really begins. Our good friends who are doing the folding, are very eager to do good work. When we told them that they had done it wrong they were much distressed until we explained that it could not be done otherwise. Either the inside or the outside must be wrong, for the center column on the inside does not agree with that on the outside. They thoroughly enjoyed folding the first lot, before they knew that it was wrong. Will they enjoy doing the rest, knowing that they are compelled to sin each time they fold one? We think they will.

Is not this like our lives? How gladly would we serve our Lord without making a single mistake! What a tragic discovery when we find that every move we make is imperfect, no matter how hard we try to avoid it! But we soon find that the nature of these errors is such that they do not dim God’s glory, but only disgrace us. And that is what they are planned to do. God is giving us the experience of evil in order to humble us. Oh, how we need it! How apt we are to denounce the errors of others, especially if they are our own! So long as our pride is unbroken, we will not be happy in the midst of failure, for we seek its source in ourselves. But if we rejoice in the Lord, we will be glad in the midst of mistakes, much as we regret them and seek to hinder and correct them. Else we would be so cast down that our service would be a burden. Not joy in the quality of our work, but joy in the Lord is our strength.

[*Originally an untitled editorial.]

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