Moments of Reflective Praise
By Donald Holliday
Gathering Home the Saints — Chapter 7
Those mountain peaks of glory, what view will they afford of endless future all in sweet accord.
That Lamb of God, that firstborn church, that Judge of all, innumerable hosts of angels who, with holy men below, bring blessedness to earth Spread out before our wondering eyes, age after age of sweet surprise from that great creative Mind. Wave after wave of new-found joy, when holiness brings happiness, and perfect oneness seals the bond uniting every mind.
What wonderful possibilities open up beyond all present dreams, and what arresting view will claim our perfect vision from that vantage point of glory. Yet can we doubt there still will be sweet moments of reflective praise, as, looking back from that great height, we trace again the path we trod, and note with perfect insight then along that way the hand of God.
With retrospective wisdom then we will see in that strange maze of life direction from that greatest Mind of all in every step, each joyful hour, each humbling fall. And we shall know at last how many wheels were turned, how many hands reached forth, the overruling in our daily round of tireless Providence. Each circumstance, each incident of life we shall review, and this time see as through a loving Father’s eyes, Who, working all together for our good, each pilgrim mile, pursued so great an end. Each day we gleaned the Master’s field, each hour discovered in our path what love had placed for us to gather to our heart, handfuls of purpose left for us to find along our way. Thus did He provide that soul-sustaining food that strengthened courage to go on, and each and every time of need had its supply. Thus did we learn to look with grateful expectation to that hand that in response to earnest prayer would open to release its precious load of daily benefits. With mercies new each morning light we came to know His great delight to satisfy, caress, and urge us on to emulate His faithfulness.
How much He longed to bless, then shall we know. Those windows of His heavenly store would open wide, their treasures pour abundantly beyond our need, and more beside. He gave us each the power to prove His promise-keeping love by yielding readily those tiny mites into His treasury, our love, our trust. Such tiny offerings to One so rich, yet all our living, all we were, was represented there. Then shall we know their preciousness to Him Who said, “Give Me thy heart.” Shall we like Caleb then look back to that first step of faith to spy the land and taste its fruit, that trust in power divine the prize to give, faith’s victory to win? Then shall we not confess His Spirit’s power that kept our hearts alive to God through every year of pilgrimage? Did I so run with dogged steps as Caleb? And did I wear his shoes upon my feet? Without them could I have claimed inheritance? And did my faith stay firm when others faded in the thirsty heat of desert march? And did I learn in wilderness the meaning of the secret place? On heaven’s vast resources did I lean when streams of earth ran dry? Each saint will say, the Lord was with me, and therein did lie the secret of renewing strength. The warfare over, fight of faith well won, the victor’s wreath was waiting for each saint who testified with Paul,” I thank Christ Jesus my Lord, Who hath enabled me.”
With what emotion Joseph took the throne, and thus became the blesser of the men who once despised. He, looking back along that checkered course of light and darkness, the father’s love, the pit, the slave condemned for other’s sins. How faith was tried when natural sight must contradict the hope of earlier vision. When naught went right, how dark that night, yet Joseph understood, and faith yet triumphed with the knowledge, everything that God permits He means for good. What will my story be when I too realize the end of faith, and find hope’s bliss, and know how right the path that leads to this? Shall I not wonder at my Shepherd’s care, His skill and understanding of the ways of sheep? How tirelessly He watched, unsleeping eyes forever turned upon each member of His flock, and in His bosom did He bear His lambs. Their safety, every one, lay in His hand, and every hour His keeping power made them secure. He led and fed His own through every age, and found them pasture even in desert land. That rod and staff known to the psalmist were my comfort too, and this I will confess, when, looking back I trace His leading through green pastures, dark ravine, and wilderness.
Dear David knew that enemy within, the senses of failure and estranging sin. The bear, the lion that would take the flock, were no match for the Shepherd. Their presence was to rob, His was to feed and make secure. In vain the spirit’s foes encircled and helpless watched from far as He did spread His table for His trusting sheep. How wonderful the Shepherd’s care, the love on which we feed in darkest hour, that will not let us go. Each age His sheep will testify His keeping power, the peace that dispelled fear, because He was so near. Each saint will then in glory raise his head and thank his Lord. As each reflects upon the Shepherd’s ways, and with the light of perfect day see there revealed full justification of the faith that, when it could not see, yet still believed.
In moments of reflective praise, we shall look back, and fully praise our Savior’s ways.