"We Know"

"Change and decay in all around I see." We shrink from changes as a rule, especially if we have passed out of the hopeful days of youth. Yet if changes come that are not of our own seeking we need not fear them at all. The greatest change that we can know in this mortal life is the end of it, the dissolution of this earthly house of our tabernacle. But suppose this great change comes, whether gradually, by the loosening of the cords and the pulling up of the stakes by disease or old age, or suddenly, as by a hurricane out of the blue that gives neither warning nor reprieve. What then? We know that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor. 5:1). A familiar text, but how comforting is the knowledge of which it speaks. It is one of those great and decisive texts that leave no room for question or doubt. It tells us of mortality being swallowed up of life, of a body a home and surroundings that await us as incorruptible and abiding as God Himself, who is the Author of them. We shall certainly rejoice in, and earnestly desire this greatest and last of all changes for us if the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus has cast its most blessed attraction upon us.

But if we need not fear the greatest change of all, need we fear the lesser changes as we . . .

"Nightly pitch our moving tent
A day's march nearer home"?

Certainly not. They are not the result of some irresponsible or hostile force that wages war against our ultimate good, but they are for our training and chastening here and yield present and eternal fruit. They come from the hand of Him whose faithful love will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able to bear and who turns all things to our good.

The vicissitudes of life are "our present light affliction which is but for a moment," and they are not without purpose or void of blessing, but "WORKETH FOR US A FAR MORE EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL WEIGHT OR GLORY." This is not theology, cold and pulseless, but the sure word of God to be taken up by us in triumphant faith. It is not human fortitude, much less insensibility to suffering, that takes up such language and gives this serenity of soul. No, it is the divine life in the Christian, strengthened and made glad by the glory of the grace that shines in the face of Jesus, stretching out beyond the changing things of time to those eternal things which God has set before us —

"But who that glorious blaze
  Of living light shall tell
Where all His brightness God displays,
  And the Lamb's glories dwell?"