January 20, 2009

To Comfort a Friend...

"Today as I sit in my lonely room, this passage of God's Word flies in like a white dove through the window, "And now men see not the sun which is in the clouds; but the wind passes and clears them." Job 37:21. To my weak vision, dimmed with tears, the cloud is exceeding dark, but through it stream some rays from the infinite love which fills the Throne with an exceeding and eternal brightness of glory. By-and-by we may get above and behind that cloud—into the overwhelming light. We shall not need comfort then; but we do need it now. And for our present consolation, God lets through the clouds some clear, strong, distinct rays of love and gladness.

One truth which beams in through the vapors is this—God not only reigns, but He governs His world by a most beautiful law of compensations. He sets one thing over against another. Faith loves to study the illustrations of this law, notes them in her diary, and rears her pillars of praise for every fresh discovery. I have noticed that the deaf often have an unusual quickness of eyesight; the blind are often gifted with an increased capacity for hearing; and sometimes when the eye is darkened and the ear is closed, the sense of touch becomes so exquisite that we are able to converse with the sufferer through that sense alone.

This law explains why God put so many of His people under a sharp regimen of hardship and burden-bearing in order that they may be sinewed into strength; why a Joseph must be shut into a prison in order that he may be trained for a palace and for the premiership of the kingdom.

God's ways are not my ways—but they are infinitely better. The cloud is not so dense but love-rays shine through. In time the revealing "winds shall clear" away the dark and dreadful mystery. Kind words of sympathy steal into the shadowed room of suffering. If Christ does not come in visible form to our Bethanys, He sends His faithful servants and handmaidens with words of warm, tender condolence.

The fourteenth chapter of John never gleams with such a celestial brightness, as when we read it when under the cloud. No cloud can be big enough to shut out heaven—if we keep the eye towards the Throne. And when we reach heaven and see the cloud from God's side—it will be blazing and beaming with the illumination of His love. The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall be our Shepherd, and shall guide us to fountains of waters of life, and God shall wipe away every tear from our eyes!"

Theodore Culyer

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