Friday, May 13, 2016

         Our yet unfinished story
         Is tending all to this:
         To God the greatest glory,
         To us the greatest bliss,
         Our plans may be disjointed,
         But we may calmly rest:
         What God has once appointed
         Is better than our best.

         We cannot see before us,
         But our all-seeing Friend
         Is always watching o'er us,
         And knows the very end;
         And when amid our blindness
         His disappointments fall,
         We trust his loving-kindness
         Whose wisdom sends them all.

         They are the purple fringes
         That hide his glorious feet;
         They are the fire-wrought hinges
         Where truth and mercy meet;
         By them the golden portal
         Of Providence shall ope,
         And lift to praise immortal
         The songs of faith and hope.
              Frances Ridley Havergal

....that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  John 9:3

     This hymn was written by Miss Frances Ridley Havergal.  It does not appear in any one of her volumes, so far as we can find.  It is contained in the American Selections from her Poems.  It may have been issued upon a slip like many others of hers.  The suggestion of life as an "unfinished story," the chapters of which we must wait to read, is one that most believers would do well to heed.  One incident in our Lord's history (John 9:1-3) gives a pathetic illustration for our need just here: "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parent: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
     What strange revelations there will be by and by when "the golden portal of Providence shall ope!"  The Psalmist once says: "In thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."  When those pages are unsealed it will be suddenly made known why the seven hundred Benjaminites were made left-handed, and why Bartimaeus was born blind; why Mephibosheth was crippled by a stumbling nurse, and why the widow at Shunem lost her husband.  All the great, melancholy, heart-rending mysteries of pain and trouble, humiliation and hindrance, will go to show that "what God has once appointed is better than our best."
                                                                                        From Annotations Upon Popular Hymns
                                                                                             compiled by Charles Seymour Robinson, D.D.

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