Posts Tagged ‘God’

Not Knowing

I know not what will befall me: God hangs a mist o’er my eyes;
And thus, each step of my onward path, He makes new scenes arise.
And every joy He sends to me comes like a sweet surprise.

I see not a step before me as I tread on another year;
But I’ve left the past in God’s keeping,—the future His mercy shall clear.
And what looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near.

For perhaps the dreaded future is less bitter than I think;
The Lord may sweeten the waters before I stoop to drink.
Or, if Marah must be Marah, He will stand beside its brink.
It may be He keeps waiting, for the coming of my feet.

Some gift of such rare blessedness, some joy so strangely sweet,
That my lips shall only tremble with the thanks they cannot speak.

O restful, blissful ignorance! ’tis blessed not to know;
It keeps me still in those mighty Arms which will not let me go,
And lulls my weariness to rest on the Bosom that loves me so.

So I go on not knowing,—I would not if I might;
I would rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light;
I would rather walk with Him by faith than walk alone by sight.

My heart shrinks back from trials which the future may disclose,
Yet I never had sorrow but what the dear Lord chose;
So I send the coming tears back with the whispered words, “He knows.”

–Mary Gardiner Brainard, ‘Not Knowing’, Acts 20:22 “Not knowing what will befall me there.”

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A Perspective Piece for Perspective Peace

“I need oil,” said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling. “Lord,” he prayed, “it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers. “Lord,” prayed the monk, “my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee.” And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. “Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues,” cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. “I, too, planted a little tree,” he said, “and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs,’ I prayed, ‘storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou has made it and Thou dost know.'”

…See, it’s our “helping God out” that leads to an anxious heart. When we take over and try to control what happens, we take our focus off the One who is in control and put our eyes on our circumstances.

In the words of J.I. Packer, “Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”