An architect complains that many of his clients come and ask him to design a house for them, only to let him very speedily discover that they have already designed it all for themselves. What they really want is his sanction of the plan and the satisfaction of seeing him draw on paper what they have fully in mind. It is in very much the same fashion that we often go to the great Architect with our lives. We ask Him for wisdom and guidance, but we have already planned how we will build our fortunes and shape our course and it is not His way we are seeking, but His approval of our way.—Mississippi Visitor.
"He that believeth shall not make haste,"—or, more literally, "shall not get into a fuss." He shall not get into a panic. He shall not fetch his fears either from his yesterdays or his tomorrows. Concerning his yesterdays faith says, "Thou hast beset me behind." Concerning his tomorrows—" Thou hast beset me .. . before." Concerning the immediate day faith says, "Thou hast . . . laid thine hand upon me." That is enough; just to feel the presence of his guiding hand."—Selected.
During the first evacuation of children from bomb-torn areas of London, a train was leaving packed with children. Many of them had never been on a train, and most of them had never been in the country. The parents of a small boy and girl had just said good-bye to their precious children and left them standing on the platform. The little girl began to cry, and said she was afraid because she did not know where she was going. Her little brother, brushing his own tears away, put an arm around her in an effort to comfort her, and said, "I do not know where we are going either, but the king knows." Are not many of us like the little girl, fearful because we do not know where we are going in this distracted world of ours? We do not know, but our King knows! The emergencies and problems of our day will be calmly faced, if in our quiet moment we have met God and put our trust in Him.—Day by Day.
Out on the sea the prow of Columbus' ship was pointed straight for Delaware Bay, when a flock of birds was observed flying southwest. Pinzon persuaded Columbus to change the course of his ship and sail after the birds. And so Columbus landed on that little island of the West Indies instead of in the mouth of Delaware Bay. Some men see in this nothing but a flight of birds. But the Christian historian sees in it the guiding hand of God. Columbus took possession of San Salvador in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella, for Spain. Spanish misrule has cursed every nation upon which its mildewed hand has been laid. God by this act saved America from this blight, saved America to be blessed with English Protestantism.—Elmer Ellsworth Helms, in God in History.
I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive,—what time, what circuit first,
I ask not; but unless God sends His hail
Or blinding fireballs, sleet or stifling snow, In some time, His good time, I shall arrive: He guides me and the bird. In His good time. —Robert Browning.
There is a pleasing story of how the father of Matthew Henry the commentator won his bride. He was a Presbyterian minister, she an only daughter, and the heiress of a considerable fortune. Her father objected. "You see," he said to his daughter, "he may be a perfect gentleman, a brilliant scholar, and an excellent preacher; but he is a stranger, and we do not even know where he comes from!" "True," replied the girl, with all the acumen and insight that her great son afterward displayed, "but we know where he is going, and I should like to go with him." Do others have confidence in us because they know we are led of God?—Sunday School Chronicle.
Mr. Sankey told the story of his little boy.
It was in Scotland, in the winter. For the first time the little fellow had on an overcoat in which there were pockets. With his father the boy was walking in a somewhat slippery place. The father said to him, "My boy, you had better let me take your hand." But the boy's hands were deep in the pockets of the coat, and so he kept them there until a rather bad fall on the ice showed him that his father's advice was good. The tumble brought down his pride somewhat and he said, "I will take your hand," and he reached up and took hold of his father's hand in his somewhat feeble grasp. Then another slip and his hand was unable to keep its hold on the father's and down he went on the ice.
Then it was that humbled in spirit he said as he raised his hand, "You may take it now."
And so it was that the father's strong hand held the child up when the slippery places came.
Happy is the believer who knows that he is in the mighty hand of the Saviour, and that He has undertaken to bear "His own" all the way home to His glory. It is He, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, who says, "My sheep . . . shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one" (John 10:27-30)—Scattered Seed.
When Stanley was about to cross Africa for the first time, many of the strong men of his party burst into tears as they set out. They were not cowardly, but they were overcome by the thought of the terrific hardships which they knew lay before them.
Every human life is a journey as difficult and perilous; and we might well shrink from it, had we no Guide. What absolute madness it is to set out alone! I have read the story of a conceited young captain who would not wait off the shore for a pilot to come on board, to take him through the narrows of the harbor. "I am my own pilot," was the proud reply to all remonstrance, and he promised to be in the harbor by day-break. He was cast ashore, dead, amid the fragments of his wrecked vessel. Such has been the fate of many a man who would be his own pilot amid the rocks and shoals of life.
When travelers climb dangerous places in the Alps, they are fastened to their guide. They have become a part of him. They may slip and fail, but he will not. So may we be bound to our omnipotent Guide; and, thus united with wisdom and security, we may travel through life without a tremor of fear.—Amos R. Wells, in The S. S. Banner.