The words of Habakkuk find something of an echo in the New Testament in the words ®f Peter. Habakkuk said, “AL THOUGH conditions may not be favorable YET I will re joice in God.” Peter wrote of Jesus Christ “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, THOUGH now ye see him not, YET believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” The only way to master the ALTHOUGH is to major in the YET. The man whose life concern is to know God and enjoy Him forever makes it his life business just to glorify God. How that simplifies matters! Instead of feverishly striking out in all directions with too many irons in the fire and none of them hot, his prayer is simply “ Glorify Thy Name.” Not that such a life is easy. One had better be careful about praying that prayer for God will take him up on it and God has strange ways of getting glory to Himself, as in sickness with Lazarus and by death in the case of Peter. But he who is truly satisfied with God and God’s will and glory will not be disturbed by the things that agitate the rest of us. Success or failure, popularity or obscurity, high feelings or low, poverty or wealth, all the fluctuations of life by which most of us measure ourselves, are neither here nor there. God is every thing. Whether or not the fig tree blossoms is incidental; we always have God. And whatever pleases Him pleases us. Of course the old nature rebels and such a blessed state is not reached overnight. But it is the life our Saviour lived and it will be the way we live when He reigns within. And how our Father must prize the fellowship of those who seek not merely His gifts but Himself! A business man whose job was to write checks all day long heard a knock at his door late in the afternoon. His little son came in just to be with his father. The tired man sighed to himself, “How good to have one person come in who is not so interested in the checks I write as in me!” How often do we call at the Heav enly Office, not for gifts, but to be with the Giver? “ Now Thee alone I seek, Give what is best.”
God truly becomes his portion. He ceases to dig in the rub bish of his own poor heart for satisfaction and makes his home in God. He learns what A. B. Simpson learned after many “ experiences” : “ Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord; Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word; Once His gift I wanted, Now the Giver swn; Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.” There will indeed be precious places and experiences. Bethel is not ruled out but the Person becomes more important than the Place. We live not in what we think or how we feel, we abide in Him. We fall back exhausted into the Everlasting Arms and find they were there all the time we were holding on for dear life. We learn with Phoebe Palmer that when we give all trying over, simply trusting we are blessed. We are not occupied with our faith but with the Faithful One. There is no end to this feverish quest of experiences. If the thrill does not come, we are plagued with thinking, “ If I had held on a little longer, maybe I would have got through!” If it does come, it wears oif and there is no way to preserve it. Peter’s vision did not come down the mountain but his Lord did and what we want is not to tell merely what we saw on the mountain but to have One who can come down the moun tain with us. When God is our portion we can rejoice with Habakkuk in a depression. Instead of taking pride in how faithful we are— and we will be more faithful than ever—we will glory in His faithfulness. We will realize that we do not have to be think ing about God all the time in order to love Him any more than we think about our loved ones all the time. We shall not gauge our state by our emotions, having learned what liars our feelings can be and that we are often nearest God when we imagine we are farthest from Him.
M U S I C These lovely sounds my ears have heard: The rapture of a mockingbird, The singing of a meadow stream, Its murmuring like a placid dream; Softly whispering, the breeze Sighing through the listening trees, The simple homely sounds of earth, A cricket chirping on the hearth, A newborn baby’s first weak cry, A mother’s twilight lullaby To children clustered at her knee. A bugle calling reveille. A violin’s heart-breaking strain, The melody of falling rain. All this is not enough— I long For music sweeter than the song The morning stars together sang Till heaven’s farthest arches rang: These ears of mine, unsatisfied, Await His voice, “ Come home, My bride!”
—Martha Snell Nicholson July, 1949
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