by Alice Belle Garrigus
CHAPTER 6. TRIED AND TESTED
As manufacturers test their products before putting them on the market, so the Lord tests every experience He gives us by putting it into the fire. This new, wonderful experience of perfect love must be tested.
School closed, and I went home for a vacation. Before my trunk was unpacked a letter came, saying a very wealthy lady who had heard of me wished me to come as companion for the summer. Once I would not have considered it for a moment, but I had stopped choosing for myself, so I brought it to the Lord to decide. He made it very clear I was to go; so, without unpacking my trunk, I returned to Bridgeport and the fiery furnace that was to try the silver.
This poor, rich womanwas alone in the world, as she was so unreasonable no one could live with her, not even her children. She had a colored housekeeper who had somehow been able to fight her way through, and many the conflict they had, while I stood by trembling, not knowing what the outcome might be.
I arrived in the evening, and I think I would have departed in the morning if God had not done something special for me. Nights were the most trying times. All the silver and many jewel-boxes and purses had to be collected: whereupon, she began to bury them as a squirrel does his winter supply of nuts.
I was not supposed to know where the things were hidden, but she used to forget where she put them and I was severely blamed if I did not know where they were, so I found it policy to watch with one eye, so to be ready when called into question. Then quilts had to be hung over windows that no light should shine through, for fear of burglars. All this took much more time than it does to tell it; and when I succeeded in getting her to bed, and having her consent to pray with her, I was ready to retire, being quite worn out.
One night after the usual routine, I went to bed, but began to be ill. I had had similar attacks before, and they were serious. What to do I did not know. The pain became more violent, and I felt help must soon come. At this pint I remembered a conversation I had with Dr. Chapell of Boston, a very spiritual man. Not understanding the fire which continually burned in my body, I asked him if he ever knew of anyone to have that experience. He said: `Yes; he had it himself'. I asked what it was for. He replied: "Perhaps for healing." I said, "I am well." "Then," said he, "It is for anything you need."
Now, in distress, those words came to me: "Anything you need;" and, I said: "Lord, I need a physician." Instantly I was delivered, and lay there praising God. This was such a marked deliverance, I entered into a covenant to trust God in times of sickness. That was over forty years ago, and from that time I have had no need of doctors or drugs.
The summer of testing ended in triumph, through the abundant grace given. On leaving, the poor soul cried and said: "God made you for me." He certainly did, for in the natural there would have been a misfit.