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O Heavenly Father, to cheer me with yet further tokens of Thy presence, and to encourage me with all such signs of Thy loving favour as may seem good to Thee.
Thou hast holpen me, and comforted me; I gratefully acknowledge. But, under fresh troubles, may I ask for fresh help? And, amid continued distress, may I seek of Thee some new token for good ? I desire to ask humbly, submissively, patiently; yet Thou dost never discourage us from asking, or tell us we ask too much; on the contrary, my Saviour bids me ask, and I shall receive; and seek, and I shall find; even so, Lord, do I ask and seek of Thee now. Oh, hear me, for His sake ; and do for me even more than I can ask or think.
“If I climb up into heaven, Thou art there."
Psalm cxxxix. 7 (P.B. version).
I FEEL low down to-day, lower than usual, in a great depth of despondency. But these words come to me with comfort, “If I climb up into heaven, Thou art there." True, Thou art everywhere; in the lowest depth, as well in the highest height; but I must rise to Thee, I must climb to find Thee, O my God. I must not sink down in despair, I must not resign myself to this lowness of spirit. Now is the time to seek to rise to Thee.
Now is the time, just when I am so low. It seems vast distance between where I am, so low down in trouble, perplexity, and despondency, and where God is, in perfect
peace and glory, in the highest heaven. Yet this is just the time for me to climb, and even to climb so high; for no height short of that will suit my case, nothing but the very presence of God. I must climb
into heaven, I must climb now, I must wait for nothing
I love this old English word in the Prayerbook version, “If I climb.”
“If I ascend,” may be more exact, or “If I scale ; ” but this
" word, that I have so often repeated in public worship, seems now to suit my feelings best. “If I climb,” beginning from very low, and mounting by degrees, and not without difficulty. If my faith were stronger, I might perhaps rise more quickly; then I might " ascend,” then I might soar upwards on the wings of faith ; but my faith is weak—and yet, O my God, Thou knowest that I do believe, and Thou dost not despise a feeble faith, Thou hast compassion on my infirmity. Help me to climb to Thee, do Thou Thyself lift me up, and encourage me by Thy Spirit to raise my heart to Thee out of these depths.
And yet, though I speak of climbing, as if
by slow degrees, step by step, yet in one moment I can reach Thee; for one thought of prayer lifts me up, and takes me into Thy presence. It is not a slow and laborious process, by which I am to come to Thee, O
Even now, while I think of Thee, and dwell on these words, and seek Thee, even now I feel myself lifted above my troubles, into Thy presence. I do in thought climb up into heaven, and no sooner have I begun than I find myself there. Already I can almost from that height look down on my cares, and see them lying far below
“ Thou art there !” I have sought Thee according to Thy word ; I have come to Thee by the living Way, my Saviour, Jesus Christ; and I have not failed to find Thee. art there! I have come into Thy presence ; where no trouble is, where sin and sickness and sorrow cannot come; where is no anxiety or perplexity. I have risen to that high and holy place, whence Thy decrees go forth, and whence Thy messengers are sent, and whence all things below, of joy or of sorrow, are appointed. I have risen in thought to where
Thou art; and in Thy presence is fulness of joy.
If I cannot yet speak of joy, yet Thy presence brings me peace. These troubles cannot overwhelm me
Nothing can really harm me, when I am where Thou art, under the shadow of Thy wing, almighty, all-loving God and Father!
The Psalmist wrote these words under a solemn sense of the omnipresence of God : " Whither shall I go from Thy spirit ? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence ?" But, oh, my Father, I do not wish to flee from Thy presence, my desire is to seek Thee and find Thee, and in heart to be with Thee always. Preserve me from ever abiding in despondency, in the company of
, unbelieving and depressing thoughts ; put forth Thy power, and raise me; both now and at all times, take me out of the mire, that I sink not—the mud and mire of earthly trouble, and bodily pain, and human corruption, and imperfection, and unbelief.
Every morning, when I awake, help me at once to climb up into heaven, and find Thee