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WHAT DOTH IT PROFIT?
“What doth it profit me?” I hear a weary pilgrim say,
As he sinks beside his burden upon the “narrow way.”
“What do I gain,” he plaintive moans, “in service of my God,
Save weary pain and labor, bearing this heavy load?
For many dreary years I’ve toiled through sunshine and through rain,
Through chilling winds and wintry blasts, I’ve suffered keenest pain,
The rocks have cut my weary feet, I’ve left a bleeding track,
I cannot climb this mountain side, my feet are slipping back.
Why should I suffer day by day, bearing this heavy cross?
Why may I not the ‘promise’ gain without this pain and loss?
I see so many all around who do not serve the Lord,
Yet they are not thus burdened and their lives hold rich reward;
Their barns are filled with plenty and their vats with wine o’erflow,
While I am made to drink the dregs of bitterness and woe.”
And thus he faints upon his way, and darkness fills his heart.
O, foolish one! with “armor” loosed, and pierced by Satan’s “dart”—
Dost thou not hear the Master: “The servant’s like his Lord,”
O, listen to His message and heed His Holy Word:
“If ye will suffer with me, then with me ye shall reign;
He who would shine in glory, is perfected through pain.”
We cannot walk with Christ our Lord and still find flowery ways,
The path that leads to Heavenly heights finds many sunless days;
The “narrow way” to Life Divine, oft leads through shadow-land,
Yet the loving Master walks beside, and holds our trembling hand.
The “shield of faith” we must not fail to use as on we go,
For “darts” are flying thick and fast from the Christian’s wily foe;
The world has not been “called” to walk upon our “narrow way.”
The shallow pleasures they enjoy are only for a day.
O, who would covet their poor joys, or look with envious eye
Upon the flow’rs which deck their path and blossom but to die?
Happy your lot, ye sons of God! O, “Jewels” of the Lord
Press on! Nor faint upon the road that leads to your reward!
The way is weary, yet it ends in life, in bliss, in God!
Press on! Nor longing look ye back o’er the path that ye have trod.
Keep looking upward toward the “Prize,” and let its glory wake
Glad “Hallelujahs” to our King, who suffered for our sake;
Who died to give us life, that we might also with Him die,
Then share “His Resurrection” and His glorious throne on High! —Alice G. James.
— April 15, 1902 —