A lady had been away from home in the afternoon, and upon her return, discovered that she had lost the key to the door.
She thought to herself, How unfortunate! and time is pressing. She went to three neighbors and borrowed as many keys, in the hope that one would fit. But not one of them would do.
Finally someone asked if she had tried the latch. She replied in a spiritless voice, "No, but I will." She did, and found that the door had been unlocked all the time, and walked in.
What a good illustration this is of the anxious soul, in his desire to approach God. He stands outside, with his mind full of doubts and fears as to his welcome. He believes there are many things in the way before he may see the Sa viour, when the door is not only unlocked but stands wide open, with a cordial invitation to enter.—Messages of Love.
An old violinist was poor but possessed an instrument which never failed to charm by its soothing mellowness. Played as he could play it, it never failed to awaken responsive chords in the heart. Asked to explain its charm, he would hold out his violin and tenderly caressing its graceful curves he would say: "Ah, a great deal of sunshine must have gone into this wood, and what has gone in, comes out."
How much of God's sunshine has entered into your life? How much time have you spent in the radiance of His presence?—F. T. L. in Help and Food.
In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone. It is not in society that the soul grows most vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in days of company with others. It is in the desert that the dew falls freshest and the air is purest.—Andew Bonar.
"In quietness and confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).
We need the quiet hour to keep the body in tone. A woman, weary, fretful, sick, went to her doctor. After listening to the recital of her complaints, he said, "What you need is to read your Bible more." She was inclined to resist the suggestion; but the doctor said, "Go home; read your Bible one hour each day, and in a month come back."
At the end of the month she returned. Looking in her face, he said: "You have been an obedient patient: do you think you need any other medicine?"
"No; but how did you know that was what I needed?" she replied.
Taking up his well-worn Bible, the doctor said: "If I were to omit my daily reading in this Book, I should lose my greatest source of strength and skill."
The quiet hour is good for the body.
We need the quiet hour to deepen the spiritual life.
The quiet hour should be carried into the work of the whole day by "practicing the Presence of God."—H. F. Shupe.
One day I saw a peddler, evidently an Irishman, selling wares from door to door. I accosted the man with the usual greetings, after which I remarked: "It's a grand thing to be saved." "Eh?" said the peddler. "It is, but I know something better than that." "Better than being saved?'' I asked in astonishment. "What can you possibly know better than that?" The companionship of the Man who saved me," was the unexpected and astonishing reply.—Toronto Globe.
Henry Drummond, speaking of the value of a little time spent alone with God, said: "Five minutes spent in the companionship of Christ every morning —aye, two minutes, if it is face to face and heart to heart—will change the whole day, will make every thought and feeling different, will enable you to do things for His sake that you would not have done for your own sake or for anyone else's sake."
Hush, my soul! Be still and listen,
Hear what the Almighty says;
Be not thou forever talking,
Silence sometimes yields more praise.
Have you never learned the lesson,
"Speech is silver? Silence—gold?"
There's a joy too deep to utter,
Joy that never can be told.
As in boundless depths of ocean,
There is stillness so profound!
That the noise of war or tempest
Never yet produced a sound.
So in soul depths, there is silence,
By no earthly music stirred,
Where the voice of the Eternal
Is the only voice that's heard.
Oh, 'tis joy, to sit and listen
To the still, small voice of love,
And in lowliest adoration
All our glad obedience prove.—The Elim Evangel.
An old Lancashire woman was listening to the reasons that the neighbors were giving for their minister's success. They spoke of his gifts, of his style, of his manner. "Nay," said she. "I tell you what is it. Yon man is very thick with the Almighty." The great fitness for service is in much communion. —Bible Expositor.
In silence, at the close of day,
When sun and light have gone away,
I kneel in solitude to pray,
Alone with God.
When sad, I count my every care,
And all the grief that I must bear;
Then close my eyes in peaceful prayer,
Alone with God.
When triumph brings me joy anew,
And I feel blessed in all I do,
I ne'er forget my rendezvous
Alone with God.
Through life, I always want to be
A Christian of reality,
And keep that hour so dear to me,
Alone with God.—David L. Diehl.
The worst enemy of true religion is the hustle and bustle of our times. The Christian's most persistent and deadly foe is the temptation to neglect the soul. Our worst enemy is not worldliness, but too much care about the legitimate things of earth. Indulgence in things positively sinful is not so destructive as spending too much time in the pursuit of things that are only secondary.
Most people's lives are too full of excitement and change to enable them to relish the more quiet but enduring joys of the intellect and the soul. They have no time to think for themselves, no patience to read good books, no taste for Bible study. Their lives are superficial, their souls are shallow.
It is no exaggeration to say that the habit of reading good religious books is in danger of disappearing. One of the reasons we are pessimistic about the future of our Church is that there is not much desire for Bible study and religious reading among the mass of young men and women in our churches.
The most prevalent disease in the body of the Church is a pernicious anemia, a serious lack of vital blood-cells, caused by refusing to partake daily of good spiritual food—such food as only the Word of God can provide. It results in spiritual weakness, listlessness, lukewarmness, and in a lack of resistance to many other kinds of spiritual ailments. —The Banner.