Thursday, 23 June 2011

When life tumbles in what then?

Learn from an old Scottish preacher in the 1920s

BUT WHEN LIFE TUMBLES IN, WHAT THEN?*
*This was the first sermon preached after my wife’s dramatically sudden death.
Arthur John (AJ) Gossip, Beechgrove Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, 1927.

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with the horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” Jer. xii. 5

Here is a man who, musing upon the bewilderments of life, has burst into God’s presence, hot, angry, stunned by His ordering of things, with a loud babble of clamorous protest. It is unfair, he cries, unfair! And frowningly he looks into the face of the Almighty. It is unfair! And then suddenly he checks himself, and putting this blunt question to it, feels his heart grow very still and very cold. For after all, he asks himself, what is it you have to complain about so far? Nothing that everybody does not share. Only the usual little rubs and frets and ills of life that fall to every one, no more. And if these have broken through your guard, pushed aside your religion, made you so sour and peevish and cross towards God – God help you, what will happen when, sudden as a shell screaming out of the night, some one of the great crashing dispensations bursts in your life, and leaves an emptiness where there had been a home, a tumbled ruin of your ordered ways, a heart so sore you wonder how it holds together? If you have caught your breath, poor fool, when splashing through the shallow waters of some summer brook, how will you fare when Jordan bursts its banks, and rushes, far as the eye can see, one huge, wild swirl of angry waters, and, your feet caught away, half choked, you are tossed nearer and nearer to the roaring of the falls, and over it? read the rest here

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