THE LORD IS AT HAND
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Mat_28:20.
THERE IS an added beauty and meaning in these words when we translate the Greek into literal English: “I am with you all the days.”
How fresh and vital and inspiring they are! Though familiar as household words, they refresh us like the breath of a spring morning laden with the ozone of the sea.
We shrink back from the mysteries of life, and dread its pain, less for ourselves than for those who are so closely twined into our life. We need wisdom, strength, guidance, a brother’s love, a Saviour’s intercession–but all is here, if only we can appreciate and receive the benediction of the wonderful fact of the perpetual presence of Christ.
There are conditions which we must fulfil. Obedience. If a man keep My words… I will manifest Myself unto him. The path of your life is marked out by the Providence of God, either in the levels of ordinary existence, or in some special mission and calling. As you bravely tread it, you become aware of a glorious Presence coming to meet you, and walking by your side.
Purity; “the pure in heart see God.” This is the finding of the Holy Grail, of which Tennyson sang! A quiet heart. I do not say a quiet life—that may be impossible, but a heart free from care, from feverish passion, from the intrusion of unworthy ambition, pride or vanity. The habit of meditating on God’s Word helps to induce the quiet heart and devout spirit which realizes the Lord’s presence. The Bible is like the garden in which the Lord God walked in the cool of the day; read it much and prayerfully, and you will meet Him in its glades.
Recollection. There will be times when the sense of His presence will be wafted into your soul. At other times, it is a great secret to say: “Thou art here, O Lord! I do not feel or enjoy Thee. My heart is desolate, but Thou art beside me!” Faith, not feeling, is the realizing faculty. Without it, you would not have perceived His presence, though you had been beside St. John on Patmos; with it we may find Him as near in London to-day as in Palestine, long years ago!
Lord Jesus, Thou art with us all the days. Give us eyes to see Thee and ears to hear Thy voice, that Thou mayest become more real than the dearest and closest of our friends. AMEN.