I often feel, when I open my little book ‘Beside Still Waters’ by CH Spurgeon, as if I am Christopher Robin from Pooh Corner visiting Owl. Oh yes,
He makes me think and ask questions to myself… “No Smell of Fire.” (Daniel 3:27), the title leads, then he writes, “When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt.”
Then I think, ‘cherish?’, that is a word that puts me at a wedding,at the moment of the vows: “to love and to cherish”. Spurgeon starts his thought with, “When you cherish Christ…” and he spurs me to ask myself,
“Do I cherish Christ?” for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer? Can I? Do I…cherish Christ?… as long as I live? But then it hits me – Death will never part us, the Lord and myself. He is mine – today, tomorrow and forever. So, ‘Owl’, I mean “Spurgeon continues:
“When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt. If you feel your losses and if your trials are so ponderous that Christ’s love cannot lift you from the dust, then you have made too much of the world and too little of Him.”
I never really thought of an ‘owl’ with a tough ‘kick’ but Spurgeon shows me otherwise! But, it is a gentle kick, so I keep reading, “I see a pair of balances. I see on one scale the loss…, but I perceive on the other scale the great love of Christ. Now we will see which weighs the most. If Jesus lifts the light affliction, all is well, but if the trouble outweighs Jesus, then it is indeed ill for us.” (Spurgeon, beside Still Waters, pg. 161).
OK, the owl can kick: “If you are so depressed by your trials that you cannot rejoice, even though your name is written in heaven, then I think you do not love Jesus as you should.”
“Get delightful thoughts of Him, and you will feel as if you lost a pebble but preserved a diamond. If you have a high sense of your Master’s preciousness, you will rejoice in the deepest distress. The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”
Some words are simply worth writing again: “The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”
God uses people, by filling them with His spirit, giving them spiritual wisdom, thus ‘opening their mouth with good things’ to be ‘a present help in times of trouble- just as Owl was to Christopher Robin, Spurgeon is to me. So God, gave this man, this ‘owl on Pooh’s corner’ so to speak, a prayer of healing written many years ago. Printed in some small book, that God would have me open on this particular day- Oh the wisdom of God!…shall we pray a prayer that heals?
Do we desire healing? Or do we want to continue with our hands hanging down? May we choose this day to not lose heart but to pray: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Be within us, and we will make no choice of situations. Put us in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace (Daniel 3:20); if Jesus walks the glowing coals as a companion, the fire will have no power, the hairs of our heads will not be singed, our garments will not be affected, and even the smell of fire will not be on them ” (Dan. 3:27).
I will choose to pray and not to lose heart. I will choose to remember that Jesus ‘walks the glowing coals’ of the fire that God has allowed us to be put in. That He is a companion, a very present help and that ‘the fire has no power and the hairs of our heads will not be singed…’you and I can rejoice’ even ‘in the deepest distress’ when we choose to take hold of faith.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).
“Do you take this Man to love and to cherish, for all of eternity?
“I do! I do! I cherish my Lord. His love makes me sing:
“Jesus Only You. Jesus only You! That is where I find my joy – Jesus only You.
You say You love me. You never change. Say You won’t leave me, You’re always the same.
You say You see me, and You hear all my prayers… Jesus Only You!” (Song by Toni Rypkema)(And if I had any tech sense I would know how to share it with you on some ukelele strings! Until then,… Jesus Only You!)
So in conclusion: I left Pooh’s corner with my visit with Owl – changed and turned around from when I came! Thank you Jesus for your word and for wise old ‘owls’ who wrote poems and comforting words so many years ago, just for me…just for me!