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service to the last : “yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.”
O my God, Who dost not cast me off in my age and weakness, give me grace still to speak for Thee, and still, old and weak as I am, to do Thee an old man's service. If I cannot do much, yet grant me grace to do a little. Give me the desire to do what I can. And do Thou put forth Thy mighty power all the more because I am old and weak, and bless the little I can say and do. As long as I am in the flesh, do not put me out of Thy service, but give me such a place as suits one who is almost worn out, but still desires to do something for his Master. I know Thou wilt not cast me out of Thy grace and favour, but do not cast me quite out of Thy service ; Thou wilt never forsake me in my weakness, but even in my weakness graciously employ me. Thou canst do without me, but I cannot do without Thee. As Thou Thyself hast called me to Thy service, and taught me to love it, so give me something to do for Thee until Thou dost call me to my rest.
SEEKING, HOPING, AND WAITING.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will
I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”—Lament. iii, 24–26.
HERE are three things which I am to do, and all at once, and all towards the Lord : I am to seek Him, to hope in Him, and to wait for Him. The first I do continually; in my trouble I seek the Lord by prayer, and it is my chief comfort. The second I do sometimes, but not always; there are times when hope sinks very low. The third I often find it hard to do-when I pray, and pray in hope, then to wait. O my God, help me to do all three, according to Thy word !
Does my soul, my heart, say truly? Art Thou indeed “my portion”? Then what more can I need? If I have Thee, O my God and Saviour, then surely I have all. - Therefore will I hope in Him.' Because the Lord is my portion, I will hope in Him. I will not hope in earthly things, or earthly friends; my hope, my trust, my expectation, shall be fixed on Him Who is my portion. In Him is all that I require; a full and abundant supply of help, comfort, and grace.
How good the Lord is to the soul that seeks Him, hopes in Him, and waits for Him! 0 my God, how poor and unworthy has been my seeking, how feeble my hoping, how impatient my waiting; and yet how good Thou hast been to me! Thy word says Thou art good, and my experience tells me the same; I have found Thee good. For all Thy goodness in time past, in many a trouble, I thank Thee, O my Father!
But this thought is to encourage me to seek, and hope, and wait, now. Again am I in trouble, again I am in great need of Thee, and Thy help and comfort. O Thou
and many Who hast been so good to me, be gracious to me now! For Jesus Christ's sake be good to me, unworthy as I am, and show me Thy marvellous loving-kindness.
Be good to me in helping me to seek Thee. Help me to take the lowest place before Thee, my right place; help me, in true faith, to plead before Thee my Saviour's name, and really to approach Thee by Him; help me by Thy Holy Spirit in the act of prayer, putting thoughts and desires into my heart, and giving me even words to say to Thee. Be good to me as “the God of hope.”
. Inspire me with hope. While I seek Thee, let me not fail to hope in Thee. Let me not pray hopelessly. “Fill me with all joy and peace in believing; that I may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” In spite of all discouragements, teach me to hope in Thee.
Be good to me in giving me patience. Help me to wait Thy time. Let not the very earnestness of prayer, and the brightness and eagerness of hope, lead me to impatience. Never let me think that because what I have prayed for, and hoped for, does not come at once, therefore Thou wilt not give it. Thy time is best; help me to wait Thy time; still seeking, and still hoping, but quietly
, waiting. I cannot do this without Thee : Lord, be good to me, and help me in this !
“It is good, that a man should both hope and quietly wait.” Does this
Does this “good” mean only right? Does it not mean that it is for his good to do so, that it will make him happy ?
Yes, surely. Is not hope better than gloom ? Is not quiet waiting better than restless fretting? Lord, give me this good!
For all that is really good comes from Thee. Make me to know by experience, make me to experience now, how good it is both to hope and quietly to wait. Brighten and strengthen my hope ; confirm my patient waiting. Fix both upon Thee; may my hope be in Thee, and may my waiting be for Thee.
“ The salvation of the Lord.” Does that mean eternal salvation, or temporal deliverance—the being saved from sickness, or danger, or trouble? It seems to mean the