"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
"What I do you know not now; but you shall know
hereafter." John 13:7
Most gracious Refuge, specially built on the Hill
Difficulty, designed for Faint-hearts and Feeble-minds--weary ones, in their
nights of toil and darkness. This saying of the Savior can be condensed in
two words, "Trust Me."
There is much in life's pilgrimage and its complexities
which must be left to faith, and much that is baffling to sight; much
demanding the surrender of our own wills and the merging of them in a
Higher. "All these things are against me," said the stricken patriarch. He
lived to cancel and reverse this impeachment of the divine faithfulness, and
to recognize the love and mindfulness which in an impatient moment he had
The great apostle of an after age descried the kindling
fires of persecution. Too surely anticipating the battles of the faith, he
could see little with the eye of sense save conflict and suffering. But
faith takes him within the Gospel Hospice. Amid present insecurity, it
whispers of nobler things in reversion. Faith puts into his lips this song
in the night, "We know that all things work together for good." He trusted
his Lord's "hereafter" promise, and he lived to make this entry in the diary
of his own personal experience, "The things which have happened unto me have
fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel."
It is for us to honor God by implicit reliance on His
"You may not see that all is good–
The bow is broken in its strength;
But what is now misunderstood
Will have its 'wherefore' solved at length."
"Providence," says Flavel, "is like a curious piece of
tapestry, made up of a thousand shreds, which, single, we know not what to
make of, but put together and stitched up orderly, they represent to the eye
a beautiful history."
"His plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart;
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold."
When the pillar-cloud, as with Israel of old, conducts,
not by the short and easy way to Canaan, but by the circuitous route and
through the depths of the sea, it is for us to offer no remonstrance, but,
with unmurmuring submission and unreasoning faith, to hear the directing
Voice, the "marching orders"--"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they
go forward." The Savior's promise will be abundantly ratified "beyond the
flood." But even in this world it is partially fulfilled.
Not a few can endorse the Psalmist's averment, "They went
through the flood on foot; there [in the very pathway of trial] did
we rejoice in HIM." And if not at the time of chastening and affliction,
"yet nevertheless afterward" the need-be is often unfolded, the peaceable
fruits of righteousness are yielded and made manifest. But for the diverse
sorrows of David, and of the subsequent Babylon minstrels, the best and most
affecting portions of the Psalter would have been lost to us.
The eyes of the pilgrim disciples on the way to Emmaus
were "closed, so that they knew Him not." Their hopes had suddenly undergone
a great eclipse. The "Sun of their soul'' had set in darkness. Tears of
blissful communion were a memory--no more. They gazed on the cloud, but
there was no trace of the rainbow. They could but echo the dirge wailed by
others, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid
Him." But in due time He revealed Himself--"Their eyes were opened, and they
knew Him." Hastening to the upper room in Jerusalem, they joined in the
briefest but gladdest of songs which thrilled on the lips of those there
assembled, "The Lord is risen indeed!" (Luke 24:34.) The Divine dealing is
often not at once but gradually explained. The clouds of mid-day and
afternoon slowly but surely take on their crimson and silver linings in the
"You noble few, who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure! yet bear up awhile,
And what your bounded view, which only saw
A little part, deemed evil, is no more;
The storms of wintry time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded spring encircle all."
"And it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12