Dark and mysterious providences

(Octavius Winslow, "No Night There")

Our journey is often dark, long, and weary.

In the present life our path is at times draped
with gloomy, painful, and inexplicable clouds.

"God moves in a mysterious way
 His wonders to perform."

So strange in shape, somber in hue, and
crushing in effect, are often the events and
circumstances of our personal history, that
we are stunned and appalled, paralyzed and
awed at the 'thick darkness' in which our God
moves; at the overshadowing cloud which He
makes His chariot; wondering where the scene
will end.

What prophet will explain to us the handwriting
upon the wall? Who will interpret the symbols of
an event that has suddenly plunged us in a world
of mystery?

God is speaking to us from the 'secret place
of thunder.'  He has . . .
  nipped the bursting bud,
  plucked the lovely flower,
  broken the graceful sapling,
  uprooted the strong oak,
sowing life's landscape with the snowflakes of
winter, congealing all its flowing springs, and
tincturing all its sweet rivers with the bitterness
of Marah.

Like Moses, we are awed into silence by these
dreadful emblems of His majesty and power, and
wrapping our faces in our mantle, bow our heads
in reverence to the ground.

Heaven bids us look beyond the present scene
of suffering and sorrow to that glorious world
where shall be no drapery of dark and mysterious
providences
. In that glorious world, we shall . . .
  read all the lessons of His love,
  interpret all the symbols of His providence,
  understand all the mysteries of His dealings.

How wise will then appear all the
way our covenant God led us . . .
  through the wilderness,
  across the desert,
  home to Himself!

We shall then see that . . .
  every dispensation was right,
  every stroke needed,
  every step an advance in our heavenly ascent,
  and that every cloud that veiled God's love,
was one of its truest and holiest expressions.

And until this 'night of mystery' passes, ushering
in the 'perfect day' whose sunny sky no providential
clouds will ever darken; let us resolve all our
Heavenly Father's dealings into infinite wisdom,
rectitude, and goodness
, fully assured that,
"as for God, His work is perfect."




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