Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Friday, December 10, 2010

Traveling With A Post Hole Digger and Mr. Spurgeon

"Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guide posts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went." So says the prophet Jeremiah and so has been the course of my pilgrimage. The turning points in my history can be traced through hymns and scriptures given and claimed in time of crises and great need.
These, my waymarkers.

God's people have always traveled in this manner, sometimes setting up alters, stones, waymarkers under His instruction. Sometimes on their own like Jacob and Bethel, Samuel and Ebenezer, Joshua and his men at the crossing of the sea. Like Joshua, some of those monuments are visible "so that when the children ask what do these stones mean," the story of God's Sovereignty can be told. Sometimes stones are set up and then covered over, hidden by the waters. These are known only to the child and his God.

But all are for remembrance, remembering the ways in which God has faithfully led and guided, warned and protected, soothed and comforted.

It happened again in a recent situation. I shall spare your, Dear Reader, the grizzly details. Just know it was a soul shattering, spirit disturbing, physically affecting occurrences. Blindly I went to the only source I know of true comfort. Even in that, the easy road was taken, i.e. the Psalter portion for the day. There the Lord met and supplied giving brilliant light to a familiar Psalm read through and passed over so many times before.

Psalm 27 "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation - whom shall I fear or dread?"
[Both fear and dread were present.] "The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?"...

"Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, in this will I be confident." Here my thoughts immediately ran to a scripture taught at mother's knee, the remembrance of another encampment promised, that of the angel of the Lord that surrounds those that fear Him. A strong and comforting arsenal, that.

There are many more riches in this Psalm, but for me, for now the best is in verse 5, and this is where Mr. Spurgeon called back down the trail of time and strengthened my heart.

"For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His pavilion" [KJV here]
The Lord, says Mr. Spurgeon, will give me the best of shelter in the worst of danger. The royal pavilion was in the center of the army, and round it all the mighty men kept guard round the clock. Thus in that position of divine sovereignty which almighty power is sworn to maintain, we are hidden hospitably by the King'

"In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me." Sacrifice aids sovereignty in screening the child from harm. No one of old dared to enter the most holy place on pain of death. And if the Lord has hidden his child there, who could dare enter?

"He shall set me up upon a rock." Immutability, eternity and infinite power join sovereignty and sacrifice.

"How blessed is the standing of the one whom God himself sets high, protected from his enemies, upon an impregnable rock which never can be stormed!"

In the days following the 'incident', these eternal truths have been pondered, rehearsed, remembered. You can be certain that a very deep hole has been dug in the dull clay of the heart to secure a most important sign post.

Photo courtesy of Robert Moseley and BBC news service
Spurgeon's thoughts and insight from The Treasury of David.