Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lord's protection....

Over the next couple days I want to share some of my reading from Female Piety, from the chapter which is specifically written for young women who for whatever reason are not able to live at home. There was so much encouragement and comfort here that I had to share! I hope it blesses you all too....

"...but I remind you there is the orphan's unfailing friend still left. God lives, and he is the father of the fatherless. Be it yours, and it may be yours, to say, "When my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up." Should you be so wise and happy as to become truly pious, you will never be without a friend, and in the absence of an earthly father, will have an omnipotent one in heaven. You may then set out in life, and go through it, adopting as your motto, the reply of Abraham to Isaac, who, when the latter said, "Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" replied, "God will provide." Be that your motto, "God will provide." Fear God, and you may without scruple and with confidence adopt this assurance.

 Permit me now to suggest some topics which apply alike to all these different cases, and which it is important you should dwell upon, either in prospect of leaving home—or after you have left it. Consider it is in the order of Providence you should be thus situated. Your lot is fixed in heaven. It is God's will—and not chance. Is there nothing consolatory in this? Consider his wisdom, power, and goodness. He does all things well. He knows what is best for you. He may, in ways which you cannot imagine, be consulting your future and permanent good. You cannot see the end. When this is revealed, you may be compelled to exclaim, "He leads the blind by a way that they know not, and leads them in paths that they have not known. He makes darkness light before them, and crooked things straight." Submit, therefore, without envying others, and without murmuring. Would you contravene his purpose? Say, "It is the Lord, let him do what seems good in his sight. I am where he would have me be."

Again and again I say, commit yourselves by true faith in Christ into the hands of God for protection and consolation. How many beautiful passages and examples of holy Scripture, in addition to those already quoted, could be adduced, which apply with peculiar force to your case. Look at poor Hagar, who was much to be pitied as well as much to be blamed, alone in the wilderness, "when the angel of the Lord found her by the fountain of water, and she called the name of the Lord that spoke unto her—God, You see me." If, when God found her there, notwithstanding some past misconduct and self-reproach, she comforted herself in that desolate place with the consideration that she was compassed about with the presence of the Lord; with how much greater confidence and peace may you cheer your heart with the thought of an ever-present God, you who have not been driven out as she was by misconduct from your home, but have been led out from it by Providence.

Yes, God is in every place, he is with you, "he encompasses your path, he knows your down-sitting and up-rising, and is acquainted with all your ways." You have left your earthly father, but your heavenly one is with you. You are far from your earthly home, but if you are a Christian, you are as near as ever to your heavenly one. The eyes that lately beamed affection upon you, do not see you now, and you do not see them; but lifting your voice to God, you can say, "God, You see me!" His eye is upon you, his heart yearns over you, his arms are underneath you.

Also, what promises are on record for you. Do you fear the lack of adequate provision? "Trust in the Lord, and do good—so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed." Do you need protection? "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust; his truth shall be your defense and shield." Do you need direction? "Your ears shall hear a voice behind you, saying—This is the way, walk in it." Do you dread the forlorn circumstances that await you away from home? "None who trust in him shall be desolate." Are you trembling with apprehension at the absence of all who were dear to you, and the unknown difficulties of your new situation on earth? "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God! I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you! Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness." "My presence shall go with you and give you rest." Do you ever dread the idea of being forgotten by the friends you are leaving? "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes she may forget, yet will I not forget you." "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Can anything be more consolatory than such assurances?

 Need you be afraid to leave home and go out into the world with such promises? What, when omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, all-sufficiency, and boundless love, go with you?

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1