All things work together for good to them who love God and trust Him. The skeptic jeers at this, but the trusting Christian knows it from actual experience. It is often a dear-bought experience, for some of God’s truths are knocked into us by hard blows, and some lessons are spelled out through eyes cleansed with tears. Our perverse mistake is that we demand that God explain Himself at every step, instead of waiting for Him to unfold His intricate purposes at His own time and in His own way.
Twenty years ago in 1862, on a day of thick fog and storm, I ascended Mount Washington in New Hampshire by the old bridle-path. Over the slippery boulders we picked our toilsome way, unable to see anything but our surefooted horse and our guide. A sulky company were we when we reached the “Tip-Top House,” a simple stone lodge at the mountain summit.
But presently a strong wind swept away the banks of mist, and revealed the magnificent landscape from the mountain’s base to the great wide sea. As the wonderful vision unfolded itself to our delighted eyes, we could mark the pathway by which we had been led up to that mount of discovery. Tenfold more delightful was the outlook because we had gained it by such hard toil and it had been so long hidden from our sight.
That day’s experience was a sermon to my soul. It taught me afresh just how a believer must leave God to order his footsteps, and how he must wait for God to unfold the hidden purposes of His love. Faith’s stairways are steep and slippery. They can only be climbed by a sure foot and a steady hold on the Unseen Hand. In the hard chamber we are often thrown down on our knees. Cry as loudly as we may in the driving mist for “more light,” we do not receive any other answer than this: “Fear not! Only trust!”
If we unloose our hold on God’s hand for an instant, we go over the precipice. But the more tightly we cling, the steadier we walk; the more willing we are to be humbled, the more certain are we to get upward; the more crosses we bear for Christ, the lighter will be our hearts; and by-and-by we shall reach that gate of pearl, the opening of which will unfold to us the everlasting flood of glory.
— Theodore Cuyler, from God’s Light On Dark Clouds, 1882.