Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oh, For Peace in the Midst of Our Storms

You will keep him in perfect peace,
​​Whose mind is stayed on You,
​​Because he trusts in You.
 ​​Trust in the LORD forever,
​​For in YAHEH, the LORD, is the Rock of Ages.
Isaiah 26:3-4

My spirit on Thy care,
Blest Savior, I recline;
Thou wilt not leave me to despair,
For Thou art Love divine.

Whate’er events betide,
Thy will they all perform;
Safe in Thy breast my head I hide,
Nor fear the coming storm.

Let good or ill befall,
It must be good for me;
Secure of having Thee in all,
Of having all in Thee.
My Spirit on Thy Care
H.F. Lyte

         The storm which now began to sweep over the barren hills; the winds that rushed howling down the ravines; the lake before Him buffeted into tempestuous foam; the little boat which—as the moonlight struggled through the rifted clouds—He saw tossing beneath Him on the labouring waves, were all too sure an emblem of the altered aspects of His earthly life.  But there on the desolate hilltop, in that night of storm, He could gain strength and peace unspeakable; for there He was alone with God. And so over that figure bowed in lonely prayer upon the hills, and over those toilers upon the troubled lake, the darkness fell and the great winds blew.
         Hour after hour passed by.  It was now the fourth watch of the night; the ship had traversed but half of its destined course; it was dark, and the wind was contrary, and the waves boisterous, and they were distressed with toiling at the oar; above all, there was no one with them now to calm and save, for Jesus was alone upon the land. Alone upon the land, and they were tossing on the perilous sea; but all the while He saw and pitied them, and at last, in their worst extremity, they saw a gleam in the darkness, and an awful figure, and a fluttering robe, and One drew near them, treading upon the ridges of the sea, but seemed as if He meant to pass them by. They cried out in terror at the sight, thinking that it was a ghost that walked upon the waves. But through the storm and darkness to them—as so often to us, when, amid the darknesses of life, the ocean seems so great and our little boats so small—there thrilled that Voice of peace, which said, “It is I: be not afraid.”
         That Voice stilled their terrors, and they were eager to receive Him into the ship; but Peter’s impetuous love—the strong yearning of him who, in his despairing self-consciousness, had cried out, “Depart from me!”—now cannot even await His approach, and he passionately exclaims—
         “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.”
         Over the vessel’s side into the troubled waves he sprang, and while his eye was fixed on his Lord, the wind might toss his hair, and the spray might drench his robes, but all was well; but when, with wavering faith, he glanced from Him to the furious waves, and to the gulfy blackness underneath, he began to sink, and in an accent of despair —how unlike his former confidence! —he faintly cried, “Lord, save me!” Nor did Jesus fail. Instantly, with a smile of pity, He stretched out His hand, and grasped the hand of His drowning disciple, with the gentle rebuke, “O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?” And so, they climbed into the boat; and the wind lulled, and amid the ripple of waves upon a moonlit shore, they were at the haven where they would be; and all—the crew as well as His disciples—were filled with deeper and deeper amazement, and some of them, addressing Him by a title which Nathanael alone had applied to Him before, exclaimed, “Truly Thou art the Son of God.”
         Oh, if we feel, often and often, that the water-floods threaten to drown us, and the deep to swallow up the tossed vessel of our Faith, may it again and again be granted us to hear amid the storm, and the darkness, and the voices prophesying war, those two sweetest of the Saviour’s utterances—
         “Fear not.  Only believe.”
         “It is I.   Be not afraid.”

The Life of Christ

No comments:

Post a Comment