Patience does not come easily for me and just about everything in our culture argues against taking the long view. We want relief and we want it now and are told we can get it...
Rev. Tilden reminds us to look upon our lives "as the angels see it," to have the patience born of surrender of our own will.
"We are compassed about'" says the book of Hebrews," with so great a cloud of witnesses." Looking to them helps me take the long view and "run with patience." May it be so for you too.
THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT (Scripture Readings)
LET us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. . . .
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons. . . .
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, . . . Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT (Tilden's Meditation)
"TRUST is born of suffering. We sing —
Thy mercy bids all nature bloom,
The sun shines bright, and man is gay;
Thy equal mercy spreads the gloom
That darkens o'er his little day."
When was this stanza born ? Was it the child of sunshine only, or did the shadow reveal the deeper truth, as the evening shadows bring out the stars hidden in the glare of day ? When our path is darkened, it is only to reveal new lights in the firmament of God's love.
Would we could look upon our human life as the angels see it! It would give us patience to wait. "Now no chastening seemeth joyous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth" perfected fruit. Shadow is as needful as light, but it is shadow; we cannot make it sunshine any more than we can change night into day with lighted tapers. We must accept the shadow, and gather, as the dear gift of God, the fruit which ripens within it. Whenever OUR way gives pause for us to listen, we hear "God's 'ways are right."
He makes our clouds His chariot, and, at last, lets fall the rain of His infinite Peace.
Have a blessed sabbath.