“They gathered manna every morning.”—Exodus 16:21.
ABOUR to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord’s good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments. Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone for ever. Old anointings will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory. To-day thou mayest be upon the summit of the mount of God, but He who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest. Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place; if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled.
If the Saviour should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest the light of heaven which He could not darken in an instant. Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in total darkness. He can withdraw the joy of thine heart, the light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee. This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for “daily bread,” and only promises that “as our days our strength shall be.” Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love?
Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation.
O Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee, and in every favour which we are privileged to receive, we would adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors.”—Romans 8:12.
S God’s creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body, and soul, and strength. Having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God’s justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God’s grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, “It is finished!” and by that He meant, that whatever His people owed was wiped away for ever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God’s justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to His disinterested love, for He gave His own Son that He might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to His forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts He loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to His power; how He has raised you from your death in sin; how He has preserved your spiritual life; how He has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast—yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I tried not to write this post, but God kept prodding me to get it down. Why this was such a challenge will become apparent.
Saturday, we attended the funeral of our pastor’s niece who died suddenly last Monday. It’s hard enough to witness the salty sorrowful tears of hearts broken by pain and lost. But even more, when those tears flowed from a mother who had loved, nurtured, taught and protected her child. A mother’s tears, filled with the reality of emptiness, separation, no more tomorrows, no more celebrations, no more joys, only memories is difficult.
I am reminded of the verse from Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” God told us that even in our darkest moments, when words fail, that His love is wrapped up in those tears. His covenant promise to always be there, despite the oceans of tears, searing heartaches and unimaginable pain is captured in His word. Embedded in this promise is the divine guarantee that His love never fails. A mother’s tears also holds this promise the blessed assurance that “Life has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.”
I, too, was one of those mothers whose life was shattered by the lost of a child. I am also a testament to the words of Hebrews 13, wherein God kept His promise to never leave, nor forsake. As we comforted the family, particularly this mother, my (our) prayer is that as she walks through the valley; and as each daytime and nighttime tear falls, she will experience fully God’s hand loving, supporting and holding sacred every one of her precious Mother’s tears. Just as He did with me.
In memory of April Michelle Haley