The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. Psalm 34:22
Amid the many changes and vicissitudes of time, how precious becomes this truth! Out of God, “nothing is fixed but change.” “Passing away” is inscribed upon all earth’s fairest scenes. How the heart saddens as the recollections and reminiscences of other days come crowding back upon the memory! Years of our childhood, where have you fled? Friends of our youth, where are you gone? Hopes the heart once fondly cherished, joys the heart once deeply felt, how have you, like Syrian flowers, faded and died? All, all is changing but the Unchanging One. Other hearts prove cold, other friendships alter—adversity beclouds them—inconstancy chills them—distance separates them—death removes them from us forever. But there is One heart that loves us, clings to us, follows us in all times of adversity, poverty, sickness, and death, with an unchanged, unchangeable affection—it is the heart of our Father in heaven. Oh, turn you to this heart, you who have reposed in a human bosom, until you have felt the last faint pulse of love expire. You who have lost health, or fortune, or friends, or fame—be your souls’ peaceful, sure asylum the Father’s heart, until these calamities be overpast. And when from God we have strayed, and the Holy Spirit restores us to reflection, penitence, and prayer, and we exclaim, “I will arise!” who invites and woos us back to His still warm, unchanged, and forgiving affection? Who, but the Father?—that same Father thus touchingly, exquisitely portrayed: “And when he was a great way off his Father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Oh, who is a God like unto You?
Do not forget that there is no needed, no asked blessing which God can refuse you. Never will God chide you for asking too much. His tender upbraiding is that you ask too little. “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Oh, be satisfied with asking nothing less than God Himself. God only can make you happy, He only can supply the loss—fill the void—guide you safely, and keep you securely unto His eternal kingdom. God loves you! Oh embosom yourself in His love; and then, were all other love to wane and die—were it to chill in your friends—to cease its throbbings in a father’s bosom—to quit its last and holiest home on earth—a mother’s heart—still, assured that you had an interest in the love of God, a home in the heart of the Father, no being in the universe were happier than you. Let the grief you bear, the evil you dread, the sadness and loneliness you feel, but conduct you closer and yet closer within the loving, sheltering heart of God. No fear can agitate, no sorrow can sadden, no foe can reach you there! The moment you find yourself resting in child-like faith upon God, that moment all is peace! – Octavius Winslow