July 13 - YET GOD COMES GRACIOUSLY NEAR
"The heaven was opened.—Luke iii. 21.
So it was for Jesus; and so it may be for me. Inhabiting eternity as God does, He bends to me; He would unite Himself with me, my Portion, my Satisfaction, my Father.
Are the skies obedient and pure ? But God repairs my disobedience and restores my purity. The thought of how it could be done transcends me, and the way in which the thought has become a reality ; they are better than anything human, for they are divine. But they are disclosed to me, as sun and moon and stars are disclosed, that I may believe and rejoice in them. My disobedience has been atoned for by Christ. My squandered and wasted purity is given back when His love and His Spirit rule the heart. The heavens are not unscalable after all. God and I are reconciled.
Do the skies oppress me by their strength and independence? But God puts their powers into the hands of my Redeemer and Lord. The sun's heat, the mists and fogs, light and dark and cloud and storm, are under His control, and are compelled to work together for my good. If death comes through any of them, it will but conduct me to the shining of His Face: I recollect how John Howe, sailing back to England from his exile in Antrim, cheered himself by the certainty that, let some tempest wreck the ship, the voyage intended to land him in Liverpool would land him in heaven. The strong skies are my friends, and their God is my Father, when I see them subject to the pierced hands of Jesus.
Are the skies discomposing because of their space and infinitude? But somewhere in the heavenly places God has fixed a dwelling for His people, and Christ is in it already as their Forerunner. This is what robs the upper world of its vagueness, its disconcerting immensity, its blinding glory. It ceases to be a wide wilderness of blazing suns. It has received a centre in Him Who is the bright and morning Star. I breathe my desires upward to Him. I have sent some of my dear ones as heralds of my own coming. He has my heart to-day, and He will have my presence soon.
Do the skies seem to rob me of God's living personality ? But in His Son I know Him and have seen Him. A God Who lives and loves. A God to Whom I have such worth that He does not count Calvary too great a sacrifice to win me. A God Who, so far from holding aloof, bows His heavens and conies down, and seeks me until He finds, and sings over me His song of redemption. Has He not Eyes of pity? Has He not a Heart of unsearchable grace ? Has He not a beating and tender Soul? He is a Person, and the Best of persons.
I rejoice that, though the heavens are high, the heavens are open too.