Twelfth Day: "He restoreth my soul."
There are certain tests by means of which we may know whether we are in need of restoring grace.
Sometimes, alas! we so hurry along in the race of life that we do not realize how far we have drifted from God. The literal rendering of Heb. 2:1 may be, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should drift away from them." Heedlessness often causes drifting. These may be tests, according to Mr. Meyer:—
1. Restlessness, a general dissatisfaction with our selves and everything about us. Nothing seems right; everybody is wrong; we are content with no one thing beyond a passing moment. This is a sure indication of a drifting away from Him who said, "Take my yoke upon you ... and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
"I have His yoke upon me,
And easy 't is to bear;
In the burden which He carries
I gladly take a share
For then it is my happiness
To have Him always nigh,--
To bear the yoke together,
My Lord and I."
2. A lack of interest in the things of the Kingdom. How can two walk together except they be agreed? Since all the power of heaven contributes to the advancement of the kingdom of God, it is clear proof that your life is contrary to the plan of God if your interest is waning.
3. A spirit of impatience and intolerance with others is one of the surest indications that there is a letting down in spiritual force and fervor. "If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness." So, if it is your disposition to criticize and not to restore, you are in need of restoring grace yourself. We ought to have the forgiving spirit, the spirit of charity, the spirit of helpfulness toward the weaker member of the body of Christ. Any other disposition than this is not His mind; but, if we have failed, we need not be discouraged.
"Have you missed in your aim? Well, the mark is
Did you faint in the race? Well, take breath for the
Did the clouds drive you back? But see yonder their
Were you tempted and fell? Let it serve for a text."
Suggestions for To-day.
1. Claim the opposite grace from Christ; that is, if
impatient, claim His patience; if weak, His strength; if restless, His peace;
if defeated, take Hhim as your victory over every enemy.
2. In your relations to the church and every interest flowing out from it live for one day as you think He would live whose name you bear.
3. In all your dealings with men until this day is passed govern your actions by the question, "What would Jesus do?"
From The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations by J. Wilbur Chapman. Boston: United Society of Christian Endeavor, ©1899.