A favorite excerpt from a favorite book 🙂
“One of the greatest obstacles to living unwaveringly this life of entire surrender is the difficulty of seeing God in everything. People say, “I can easily submit to things which come from God; but I cannot submit to man, and most of my trials and crosses come through human instrumentality.”
Or they say, “It is all well enough to talk of trusting; but when I commit a matter to God, man is sure to come in and disarrange it all; and while I have no difficulty in trusting God, I do see serious difficulties in the way of trusting men.”
This is no imaginary trouble, but it is of vital importance, and if it cannot be met,
does really make the life of faith an impossible and visionary theory. For nearly
everything in life comes to us through human instrumentalities, and most of our trials are the result of somebody’s failure, or ignorance, or carelessness, or sin. We know God cannot be the author of these things, and yet unless He is the agent in the matter, how can we say to Him about it, “Thy will be done”?
Besides, what good is there in trusting our affairs to God, if, after all, man is to be
allowed to come in and disarrange them; and how is it possible to live by faith, if
human agencies, in whom it would be wrong and foolish to trust, are to have a
predominant influence in moulding our lives? Moreover, things in which we can see God’s hand always have a sweetness in them which consoles while it wounds. But the trials inflicted by man are full of bitterness.
What is needed, then, is to see God in everything, and to receive everything
directly from His hands, with no intervention of second causes. And it is just to this that we must be brought, before we can know an abiding experience of entire abandonment and perfect trust. Our abandonment must be to God, not to man, and our trust must be in Him, not in any arm of flesh, or we shall fail at the first trial.
The question here confronts us at once, “But is God in everything, and have we
any warrant from the Scripture for receiving everything from His hands, without regarding the second causes which may have been instrumental in bringing it about?” I answer to this, unhesitatingly, Yes. To the children of God everything comes directly from their Father’s hand, no matter who or what may have been the apparent agents.
There are no “second causes” for them.
I learned this lesson practically and experimentally long years before I knew the
scriptural truth concerning it. I was attending a prayer-meeting held for the promotion of scriptural holiness, when a strange lady rose to speak, and I looked at her, wondering who she could be, little thinking she was to bring a message to my soul which would teach me such a grand lesson.
She said she had had great difficulty in living the life of faith, on account of the second causes that seemed to her to control nearly everything
that concerned her. Her perplexity became so great, that at last she began to ask God to teach her the truth about it, whether He really was in everything or not.
After praying this for a few days, she had what she described as a vision. She thought she was in a perfectly dark place, and that there advanced towards her from a distance a body of light, which gradually surrounded and enveloped her and everything around her. As it approached, a voice seemed to say, “This is the presence of God; this is the presence of God.”
While surrounded with this presence, all the great and awful things in life seemed to pass before her, — fighting armies, wicked men, raging beasts,storms and pestilences, sin and suffering of every kind. She shrank back at first in terror, but she soon saw that the presence of God so surrounded and enveloped each one of these, that not a lion could reach out its paw, nor a bullet fly through the air, except as His presence moved out of the way to permit it.
And she saw that, let there be ever so thin a sheet, as it were, of this glorious presence between herself and the most terrible violence, not a hair of her head could be ruffled, nor anything touch her, unless the presence divided to let the evil through.
Then all the small and annoying things of life passed before her, and equally she saw that these all were so enveloped in this presence of God that not a cross look, not a harsh word, nor petty trial of any kind, could reach her unless His presence moved out of the way to let them through.
Her difficulty vanished. Her question was answered forever. God was in
everything; and to her henceforth there were no second causes. She saw that her life came to her day by day and hour by hour directly from His hand, let the agencies which should seem to control it be what they might. And never again had she found any difficulty in an abiding consent to His will and an unwavering trust in His care.
If we look at the seen things, we shall not be able to understand the secret of this.
But the children of God are called to look, “not at the things which are seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Could we but see with our bodily eyes His unseen forces surrounding us on every side, we would walk through this world in an impregnable fortress, which nothing could ever overthrow or penetrate, for “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.”
~From “The Christian’s Secret Of A Happy Life” By: Hannah Whitall Smith
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