Troubles That Missed The Train

 "Some of your griefs you have cured, And the sharpest you still have survived; But what torments of pain you endured From the evils that never arrived."

  Professor Meyer, of Stanford University, says, "It is our fears that often bring us our worst perplexities." The things that happen to us are usually not nearly so bad as the things we expect to happen that do not happen.

  Review your life and count how many troubles you foresaw and feared, whose dark shadows lay across your way possibly for years. Many of these troubles never arrived. They missed their train somewhere. They failed to make connection or they were run off in some other direction. Anyway, the trouble you looked for and planned for and expected and feared and shrank from never came your way.

  Many other troubles that looked so great in prospect, when you actually faced them, when they were close enough to touch, were not at all the terrible things you thought them to be. Some of them you surmounted easily. Some of them you laughed at. Some of them you made stepping-stones. Some of them just faded out of the picture.

  Did you ever read the old story of the servant girl whom her mistress found one day in the kitchen weeping? Her mistress said, "Why, Mary, what are you crying about?" "Oh," she wailed, "I am afraid my children will be drowned." "Why," said her mistress, "you are not even married." "No," said she, "but I was thinking how awful it would be if I should marry and have children and they should fall in the river and drowned."

  We smile at this tale but many of us are just as foolish this servant girl. Never go out into the future to meet your troubles. If they are coming they will come anyway. They will get to you soon enough. Do not run to meet them. Just let them alone and most of them will go some other way. In one way or another they Will miss the train and never reach you.

  Many people are like Martha. They are "careful and troubled about many things." Not a few people are like Nebuchadnezzar. He said, "I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me" (Dan. 4: 5). Daniel also said, "The visions of my head troubled me" (Dan. 7:15). Many people have written me about dreams they have had asking me to interpret them or to tell them if I think they portend trouble.

  There are hundreds of people who are disturbed by things they dream or experiences they have just as they wake from sleep. They have impressions of various sorts. Some of them are very unusual. Some people are troubled for years over something they have dreamed. It is true that we read in the Bible of people having dreams that had significance. These dreams, however, were very unusual. Perhaps a man would have two or three such dreams in a lifetime. All the rest of his dreams were without significance. If God should give any of us a dream he would see that we learned its meaning. He would not leave us to be troubled over it very long.

  Never worry over your dreams. Never interpret them as meaning trouble coming to you unless you go farther and believe it is God's way of helping you out of the trouble by forewarning you and thus enabling you to be prepared to meet it when it comes. But God never gives you a dream to frighten you unless to awaken you from sin. He never gives you a dream to trouble you, so do not trouble over them.

  There are other people who get troubled over thoughts that come into their minds. They do not know the source of these thoughts. A thought makes a strong impression upon their mind. They cannot shake it off. Then they feel that there is some hidden meaning in that thought and they worry about it and wonder about it. Never allow yourself to be troubled over such things.

  Then there are others who have thoughts of evil come into their mind. They put them away but speedily they return. They condemn themselves for these thoughts. They think they are not right with God or they would not have such thoughts. There may be many other reasons for their coming into the mind and for their persistence in returning to the mind. Displace these thoughts by good thoughts all you can, but do not worry over them.

  At many railroad crossings there are derails. If one train is about to run into another on a crossing it can be derailed and a collision prevented. We need a derail for our troubles. Perhaps another figure would be a side-track. One can become quite an expert in side tracking troubles. The best way to side-track our troubles is set forth in the text, "Casting all your care upon him for he careth for you." This is a lesson we all need to learn. The Lord is ever ready to help us in all times of need. We do not have to bear anything alone. The Lord is a present help in every time of trouble. Let us learn to rely upon him.

  Some people, in a different sense, have a side-track of their own, with an open switch. Every car of trouble that comes along runs in on their siding. If we must have a siding we should keep the switch closed. We should keep out of other people's troubles. Most of the troubles many people have are from getting into other people's troubles. We should take precautions to have all the troubles that do not belong to us passed on to the ones to whom they belong and not accept them ourselves nor be partners with them in them. To be sure we should help others all we can, but we should not load up with their troubles.

  Study the verse at the head of this chapter. Get the lesson in it. Then so face the world and so master yourself that you will not cross your bridges before you get to them nor suffer from your troubles before they arrive. Ever keep in mind the fact that most of them will miss the train and will never arrive and whatever you might suffer from them from anticipation is useless suffering.


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