Why standest thou afar off, O Lord?
God is a very present help in trouble.
In Psalm 46 we are told that God is a very present help in time of trouble, but He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to us.. as though He were disinterested in its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to an end of ourselves. That we may be led to discover the treasure of darkness – the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.
We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is suffering with us. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial has passed, and the pain has gone. But we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. "Our eyes are holden.. and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth". It is dark, and the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest – but He is there and deeply touched.
Let us not rely on feelings, but on faith.. faith in His unswerving fidelity. And though we see Him not – and though His presence is shielded from our eyes, let us talk to Him and open our hearts to Him.
Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, we must know Him to be literally present. Even though it appears that His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow.. keeping watch over His own. Your Father is just as near when you journey through the dark tunnel, just as close as when you are under the open heaven!
What though the path be all unknown?
What though the way be drear?
Its shades I traverse not alone
When steps of Thine are near.”
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