God Is Present at All Times

Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
God Is Present at All Times
The circumstances of this story increase and emphasize [Jacob's] grief, nor is it yet the end of his troubles. For after the loss of the mother, soon and almost in the same year, he loses the firstborn of this mother, Joseph. In a third calamity, Bilhah, Rachel's maid, is defiled by Reuben, the firstborn of the other wife. Surely that is not the meaning of blessing, is it? . . . Such temptations, moreover, become more severe when terror of conscience becomes an additional factor in them and Satan adds oil to the fire. For when the devil sees hearts tried and terrified, he is not slow to hurl his fiery and poisonous darts (cf. Ephesians 6:16) against them so that they think God is angry with them and opposed to them. Therefore in all temptations it affords great comfort to be able to conclude that God is present and favoring us. But the human heart finds it difficult to embrace this comfort when our Lord presses a person to His bosom in such a way that his soul wants to depart. . .. In this manner the troubles of the holy fathers are set before us for an example, that we may see how they were disciplined and note their illustrious faith in the midst of disasters and learn not to lose the sight of God smiling, blessing, and promising if ever He takes from us those things which are sweetest and have been established by His promise. . . . Faith should come to this conclusion: “Although this disaster is very bitter for me, nevertheless, I believe that God is true."
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