Standing before his audience, the preacher held up a worked text formed with silks upon perforated cardboard. But he held the back of the text towards the people. To them, all that appeared of it was a tangled mass of various colored silken threads. No words were decipherable. The stitches might have been made without reason; to the onlookers they conveyed no message.
That preacher was seeking to show how all God's dealings with His own are the outcome of His deepest care for their abiding and abounding welfare, and that we cannot make out why it is we have to suffer as we sometimes do. Let us keep in mind that now we only "see through a glass, darkly," but soon we shall see "face to face."
Then it is that the dark places will be made plain before our vision. Then, up there, we'll understand.
When the preacher turned the text towards his listeners, they could read, clearly, words which had been formed with care and beauty,
"GOD IS LOVE."
Every silken thread had helped in the weaving of the message. Not one of them was unnecessary or out of place.
So, by-and-by, when in the home and presence of our Lord we shall discern clearly how all the threads of life were wrought together, to tell the story of the love of God towards us. Looking now upon the wrong side of things, they seem mysterious and meaningless. But before long, when in the presence of Christ our Saviour, all will be manifest and plain; the shadow of death will be turned into the morning, and we shall "know as we are known."
"What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter" were the words of our Lord to Peter, and we may make an application of them to much which comes upon us in our pathway. But if He does it, it is, it must be, well.
"The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of the Christ." 2 Thess. 3:5 JND.
He is love, He has loved us, He is loving us, He will love us. In a coming hour we shall read clearly all that which tear-blinded eyes could not discern.
"We cannot always trace the way
Where Thou, our gracious God, dost move;
But we can always surely say
That 'God is love.'"
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons