How sweet are the invitations of the Saviour!
Which of us has not rejoiced in His "Come" to the weary? "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28. Weary of sin, we have listened to His call, and have pillowed our heads upon His loving breast.
Or, again, when the world has been sought over for satisfaction and has failed us, we have thirsted for heart content. Then His voice has been heard saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." John 7:37, 38. Coming to Him we have found heart's ease. But not only salvation and satisfaction are with Him, but comfort and consideration also.
To the tired with toil, He says, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while." Mark 6:31. Let us notice, "Come" is His word here, not "Go!" He will be with us in privacy as well as in our public service. There, in the "desert place," He will commune with us, teaching us in secret what we could not learn in the activities of labor for His name. "Apart"—with Him. Hallowed are these hours, and profitable for our spirits.
It may be that the sick bed, the quiet home, the enforced idleness become the "desert place," where we may be alone with Him.
We need these retreats. The unstrung bow regains its power. The silent hour in His presence restores our spiritual balance. There we learn the true value of all things.
Do you remember why He chose the twelve? It was "that they might be with Him." Yes! That was first—"with Him." Then, having been "with Him," they should have power to go forth to preach. "With Him," then "for Him." Such is His order for us all.
Our Lord delights in having His own "in the secret place" of His presence. There He qualifies us to face the world of turbulence and trouble.
"Company is better than property," it has been said, and said truly. We may give of our property to many; we give of our company to those who are the objects of our love.
Let us see to it, beloved, that we give the Lord our company, as we hear Him say: "Come ye...rest a while."
"In the secret of His presence
How my soul delights to hide;
Oh, how precious are the lessons
Which I learn at Jesus' side!
Earthly cares can never vex me,
Neither trials lay me low,
For when Satan comes to tempt me,
To the secret place I go."
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons