THE FOOTSTEPS OF GOD’S FLOCK
But the way also is the way of tribulation. Was not Jesus Himself the great Sufferer? And if He be the Way, the only Way, I must be conformed to His likeness in suffering. Not to know afflictions and tribulations is not to know Christ. He was “a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” And if so, to have no sorrow, to have no acquaintance with grief, and to know nothing of tribulation, is to proclaim to all with a loud voice that we have no union and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ. But we are continually turning aside “to the right hand” or “to the left.” There is that cowardice in the heart which cannot bear the cross; there is that slipping into carnal ease and fleshly security, so as to get away from under the painful cross of affliction and suffering.
But when we thus turn aside “to the right hand,” or “to the left,” the voice the Lord sends after us is, “This is the way”—the way of affliction, no other; the way of tribulation, the way of trial, the way of exercise. This is the way in which the King walked of old; and this is the way in which all His people have walked before Him and after Him; for this is the only path in which the footsteps of the flock can be found.