|Alone with Jesus!
(from Octavius Winslow’s, “Morning Thoughts”)
“Suddenly they looked around, and Moses and Elijah
were gone, and only Jesus was with them.” Mark 9:8
It is possible, my dear reader, that this page may be
read by you at a period of painful and entire separation
from all public engagements, ordinances, and privileges.
The way which it has pleased God to take thus to set
you aside may be painful and humbling. The inmate
of a sick chamber, or curtained within the house of
mourning, or removed far remote from the sanctuary
of God and the fellowship of the saints, you are,
perhaps, led to inquire, “Lord, why this?”
He replies, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet
place and get some rest.” Oh the thoughtfulness, the
discrimination, the tenderness of Jesus towards His
people! He has set you apart from public, for private
duties; from communion with others, for communion
with Himself. Ministers, friends, privileges are withdrawn,
and you are; oh enviable state! alone with Jesus!
And now expect the richest and holiest blessing of your life!
Is it sickness? Jesus will make all your bed in your
sickness, and your experience shall be, “His left hand
is under my head, and His right hand embraces me.”
Is it bereavement? Jesus will soothe your sorrow and
sweeten your loneliness; for He loves to visit the house
of mourning, and to accompany us to the grave, to
weep with us there.
Is it exile from Christian fellowship? Still it is Jesus who
speaks, “I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile.”
The very circumstances, new and peculiar as they are,
in which you are placed, God can convert into new and
peculiar mercies; yes, into the richest means of grace
with which your soul was ever fed.
The very void you feel, the very need you deplore, may
be God’s way of satiating you with His goodness.
Ah! does not God see your grace in your very desire for grace?
Does He not mark your sanctification in your very thirsting for holiness?
And can He not turn that desire, and convert that thirst,
into the very blessing itself? Truly He can, and often does.
He can now more than supply the absence of others by the presence of Himself.
Oh, who can compute the blessings which now may flow
into your soul from this season of exile and of solitude?
No, it is not solitude! Never were you less alone than now.
You are alone with Jesus, and He is infinitely better
than health, wealth, friends, ministers, or sanctuary,
for He is the substance and the sweetness of all.
And oh, if while thus alone with Jesus you are led more
deeply to search out the plague of your own heart, and
the love of His; to gather up the trailing garment; to
burnish the rusted armor; to trim the glimmering lamp;
and to cultivate a closer fellowship with your Father,
how much soever you may mourn the necessity and
the cause, you yet will not regret that the Lord has
set you apart from others, that you might rest awhile
in His blest embrace; alone with Jesus!