July 26, 2017
This story came across my studies this morning. God speaks to us in mysterious ways because this is going on in my life as well.
For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5)
There are times when things look very dark to me–so dark that I have to wait even for hope. It is bad enough to wait in hope. A long-deferred fulfillment carries its own pain, but to wait for hope, to see no glimmer of a prospect and yet refuse to despair; to have nothing but night before the casement and yet to keep the casement open for possible stars; to have a vacant place in my heart and yet to allow that place to be filled by no inferior presence–that is the grandest patience in the universe. It is Job in the tempest; it is Abraham on the road to Moriah; it is Moses in the desert of Midian; it is the Son of man in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no patience so hard as that which endures, “as seeing him who is invisible”; it is the waiting for hope.
Thou hast made waiting beautiful; Thou has made patience divine. Thou hast taught us that the Father’s will may be received just because it is His will. Thou hast revealed to us that a soul may see nothing but sorrow in the cup and yet may refuse to let it go, convinced that the eye of the Father sees further than its own.
Give me this Divine power of Thine, the power of Gethsemane. Give me the power to wait for hope itself, to look out from the casement where there are no stars. Give me the power, when the very joy that was set before me is gone, to stand unconquered amid the night, and say, “To the eye of my Father it is perhaps shining still.”
I shall reach the climax of strength when I have learned to wait for hope.
A short biography of George Matheson if any of you do not know him.
George Matheson was only fifteen when he was told that he was losing what little eyesight he had.
Instead of giving up, Matheson immediately continued with his plans to enroll in the University of
Glasgow, and his determination lead to his graduation at age nineteen. But as he pursued graduate
studies in theology for Christian ministry he finally lost his sight. His sisters joined ranks beside him,
learning Greek and Hebrew to assist him in his studies. He pressed faithfully on.
But his spirit collapsed when his fiancée, unwilling to be married to a blind man, broke their engagement and returned his ring. He never married, and the pain of that rejection never left him. Years later, as a well-loved preacher in Scotland, his sister came to him announcing her engagement. He rejoiced with her, but his mind went back to his own heartache. He consoled himself in thinking of God’s love which is never limited, never conditional, never withdrawn, and never uncertain. In the darkness of those moments George Matheson wrote this hymn. He remarked afterward that it took him five minutes and that it was the only hymn he ever wrote that required no editing.
O love that will not let me go. Heartening hope for you and me.
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.
O love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths it flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that foll’west all my way
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be
Stabilizing lines, especially for those in darkness.
To understand what it means to love one another you have to understand what the word LOVE really means There are three words in Greek which are translated as LOVE.
The first is word is PHILEO. This means brotherly love or friendship. This is the first level of love.
You get to know someone, you enjoy being around them. Eventually you form a close friendship. In this church I am sure that there are people here that you LOVE hanging around with and are friends
The second word is EROS. This is the word for romantic love. This is the second level. Imagine a
boy and a girl who have been friends for a long time. One day the guy says to the girl “I like you”.
She says “I know, I like you too”. He says, “No, I mean I REALLY LIKE you”. She finally gets the
message. He has moved from PHILEO love to EROS love.
The third word AGAPE is the deepest level of love. This means sacrificial love. Imagine again that boy and girl
have a bad fight. At that point she does not love him as a friend and certainly not romantically.
AGAPE love is not an emotion but a decision. It is an act of the will. Reaching out in AGAPE love draws them back together to work through their problems and eventually the relationship is restored.
Emotions are neutral. We feel what we feel. Emotions are neither good or bad. When Jesus commanded us to love one another He used the word AGAPE. This means that love is not an emotion but a choice. The love that John is talking about here is this deepest level of AGAPE love. sacrificial love. Sacrificial love means that we love others even when it costs us. It means to give yourself to another person in a grace filled relationship and friendship.
Human love is very uncertain and I am sure all of us have experienced rejection at some point in our lives. Like George Matheson we need to learn to lean on and trust God’s perfect love. His love is our hope and our goal. Being a Christian means that we learn to love like Jesus.
1 John 4:7 Let us love one another, for love comes from God.
I would like to strive to be one of those–so few–who walk the earth with ever-present consciousness–all mornings, middays, star-times–that the unknown which men call Heaven is “close behind the visible scene of things.”