The Great Hand of God by James Ryle

The Great Hand of God by James Ryle November 13, 2010

“In the shadow of His hand hath He hid me” (Isaiah 49:2)

Too often in our happy charismatic world of blissful faith we fail to realize that shade is as necessary as sunshine. We want blue skies with only occasional puffy clouds, and the clouds should look like bunnies. No wind, at least not enough to mess with our hair; just a gentle breeze, please. Toss in a whole lot of flowers, and add some soothing worship music in the background — and let’s see now, um, oh yes, world peace.

But the truth is that life is much more random than this; much more reckless.

hidden in the shadow 1There is simply something indiscriminate about the fickle world in which we live. It rains on the just, and the unjust – literally, and figuratively. Good things happen to bad people; and bad things happen to good people.

Bad people prosper, while good people struggle to get by. Those who do wrong seem to skate by without consequence, while those who do well are often falsely accused and unjustly punished.

Folks who have journeyed some miles along Life’s uneven road will tell you that it is one of the great works of faith to see the darker seasons of life as the shadow of God’s hand. Rather than being far from us in those desperate moments, He is in fact so close that we are hidden in the shade caused by His nearness.

Sometimes God lifts us up to a great and noble purpose, wherein we find usefulness and fulfillment in virtually everything we touch. Other times He holds us back from high activities, even against our strong desires, and let’s light shine in other places while shadows pass over our own estate.

In the balance of things we may at length come to see and appreciate that these are truly the greater moments of life. For in these hidden moments a deeper work is being accomplished that means far more to God than anything we may achieve when the band is playing and the sun is shining.

Sometimes this is for our protection. For have you never lit a flame on a windy day? And did you not cup your hand in some manner to protect the flame from the fray? Might not God being doing the same with you? Once the fire is lit, and the fuel is supplied, and the flame strong — then come, O wind and blow! For now you will but make the fire even bigger!

Yet, for the moment, until the time is right, the Lord must must hide the flame in the shadow of His hand.

    There are mountains, and valleys.
    There is daytime, and night.
    There is laughter, and tears
    in this thing we call Life.

    There are moments of fame,
    and seasons of quiet.
    There is fire in our bones,
    and chilling respite.

    There are times when we fly,
    and times when we fall.
    And The Great Hand of God
    is at work in them all.

Eighty years ago G. H. Morrison, one of the Churches uncelebrated heroes, wrote, “It is the glory of God to hide a thing, and there are many choice places to hide them. He hides silver and gold deep in the heart of the mountains, rubies and diamonds down in the belly of the earth, and pearls in the depths of the sea. But His children, far more precious to Him than all things ~ them He hides under the shadow of His hand!”

Maybe, dear friend, might this be where the Lord has you right now? 

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