LIFE IS LONG ENOUGH

All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old. PSALM 139:16

No person lives one day more or less than God intends. “All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.” But her days here were so few …

His life was so brief …

To us it seems that way. We speak of a short life, but compared to eternity, who has a long one? A person’s days on earth may appear as a drop in the ocean. Yours and mine may seem like a thimbleful. But compared to the Pacific of eternity, even the years of Methuselah filled no more than a glass …

In God’s plan every life is long enough and every death is timely. And though you and I might wish for a longer life, God knows better.

from TRAVELING LIGHT

When Things Seem Impossible

John 6:5-14

Years ago, our church was preparing to purchase some costly property, and our desire was to accomplish the transaction without going into debt. One week before the deadline, we had accumulated less than half the money; raising the rest seemed impossible. I mentioned our need to the congregation, and after the first service, a young couple came up and gave me the husband’s wedding band to use toward the payment. They insisted I take the ring in spite of the fact that they were barely getting by and had a baby on the way.

During the second service, I pulled out the ring and told about this couple’s sacrifice. Then the most amazing thing happened. People started streaming down the aisle and giving all kinds of things—boats, houses, jewelry, cars. At the end of that service, we had exactly the amount we needed.

Nothing is impossible for our Father. He used an inexpensive ring to raise over two million dollars in one day, just as He once borrowed a sack lunch to feed five thousand people.

We often make the same mistake the disciples did in today’s passage—we ask the wrong question: “What am I going to do?” Instead, we should ask the right one: “Lord, what are You going to do?” God has a plan to guide us safely through every seemingly impossible situation if we will simply trust Him instead of our own resources.

Look to your heavenly Father for whatever you need. He has promised to provide for His children, and He knows the best way and timing to do so.

God’s Ways Are Best

“And the word of the LORD came unto [Elijah], saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (1 Kings 17:8-9)

The leading of God is not always clear to our understanding or satisfying to our pride, but it is always directed to God’s glory and our good. Elijah had been supernaturally fed by ravens until the brook of Cherith dried up due to the very drought that Elijah had prophesied. Then, instead of supernaturally providing water, God told Elijah to move to a village in Zidon to stay with a poor widow who would feed him.

But Zidon was the home of the idolatrous queen, Jezebel, who would soon become Elijah’s implacable enemy. Furthermore, he would have to so humble himself as to request that the widow share what she thought would be her last meal with a stranger whom she had never met and who had claimed to be the prophet of a God she did not know. What a strange way for God to deal with His servant!

Nevertheless, Elijah obeyed God without question, and so did the widow of Zarephath, and thus the Lord was able to perform two of His mightiest miracles of creation. At the same time, He was able to meet the deep spiritual needs, as well as the physical needs, of this unlikely duo—the greatest spiritual leader of his age and an insignificant widow. An amazing daily miracle of continuing the creation of oil and meal took place as long as the drought continued. And then an even more amazing miracle was accomplished, when, for the first time in all history so far as the record goes, one who was dead (the widow’s son) was restored to life (1 Kings 17:20-24), and the woman came to believe that Jehovah was the true God. God’s ways may not be our ways, but they are always best. May He give us the grace always to obey His word, whether or not we fully understand. HMM

Our light and transitory burden of suffering is achieving for us a weight of glory

“For this our light and transitory burden of suffering is achieving for us a weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17.) (Weymouth.)

IS achieving for us,” mark. The question is repeatedly asked—Why is the life of man drenched with so much blood, and blistered with so many tears? The answer is to be found in the word “achieving”; these things are achieving for us something precious. They are teaching us not only the way to victory, but better still the laws of victory. There is a compensation in every sorrow, and the sorrow is working out the compensation. It is the cry of the dear old hymn:

“Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee,
E’en tho’ it be a cross that raiseth me.”

Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby could never have written her beautiful hymn, “I shall see Him face to face,” were it not for the fact that she had never looked upon the green fields nor the evening sunset nor the kindly twinkle in her mother’s eye. It was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment.

It is the tree that suffers that is capable of polish. When the woodman wants some curved lines of beauty in the grain he cuts down some maple that has been gashed by the axe and twisted by the storm. In this way he secures the knots and the hardness that take the gloss.

It is comforting to know that sorrow tarries only for the night; it takes its leave in the morning. A thunderstorm is very brief when put alongside the long summer day. “Weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning.” —Songs in the Night.

“There is a peace that cometh after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that looketh not upon tomorrow,
But calmly on a tempest that it stilled.

“A peace that lives not now in joy’s excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

“A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
‘Tis not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.

My people shall dwell in quiet resting places

“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18

Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon Him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation.

Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that His words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of His word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of His grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of His people, and when we draw near to Him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to Him to be the return of peace to our spirits.

“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,
‘Tis stable as His steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”

Wait that He may be gracious unto you

“Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you.” Isaiah 30:18

God often DELAYS IN ANSWERING PRAYER. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day—he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead thereof a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in? Our Father has reasons peculiar to Himself for thus keeping us waiting.

Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if He keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given.

Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that He may the more fully display the riches of His grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.