While lying about with the flu yesterday, I picked up a precious book I recently bought during my "we need to read more biographies of great men and women of the faith"-spree.
This excerpt is from Free Grace and Dying Love by Susannah Spurgeon, wife of the wonderful and famous 19th century preacher C.H. Spurgeon :
My kindness shall not depart from thee. (Isa. 54:10)
Sometimes we like to think of the consolation that awaits us in heaven, when our warfare is accomplished, and our iniquity is pardoned; but here, in this precious word, we have comfort and help for the daily life and strife of earth.
The kindness of God! It is unutterable, illimitable, unchangeable! Every believer has experienced it; but the whole host of the redeemed, gathered from all lands, throughout all ages, could not tell the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of this 'great', 'everlasting', 'loving' kindness which dwells in the heart of God for his people.
'My kindness.' Dear Lord, the words are sweet to my soul as honey and the honeycomb. They carry in them an answer to all my misgivings, a response to all my pleas, a promise of power to overcome all my weakness. I say to you, sometimes, ' Lord, how is it that you can be so tender and indulgent to one so forgetful, so unworthy, so inexcusable as I am?' And your answer is - 'My kindness' - ' I have loved you with an everlasting love.' 'But, Lord, I am a worse and greater sinner than I thought I was; every day reveals to me some hitherto undiscovered evil in my heart, which must be displeasing in your sight.' Again you say, 'My kindness' - ' I have put away thy sin.' 'But, Lord, I have no power to do right, I cannot of myself even think a good thought, much less live that life of holiness which you command and require.' And again you give me that sweet reply, 'My kindness' - ' My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Oh! That I had a seraph's tongue to tell, or a pen dipped in the praises of heaven to write, what his lovingkindness and tender mercy have been to me!
'My kindness SHALL NOT DEPART from thee.' God's negatives and affirmatives are like great rocks jutting out from the insecure and shifting sands of all earthly experiences. When a troubled, bewildered soul is enabled by faith to cling fast to one of these, all fear vanishes, all anxiety is gone, nothing can move it from its confidence and peace. We have all suffered, more or less, from the ever-changing influences around us; perhaps we ourselves have added somewhat to the sorrow which is in the world by reason of inconstancy and changeableness. But never, for one moment, has our God withdrawn the love with which he loved us from all eternity, never has he forsaken or forgotten those who have put their trust in him. Bless his dear name, there is no such things as departing kindness with him; 'no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' It is true, our sins and our ingratitude may so grieve and provoke him, that he may hide his face from us for a while; but even then, his love yearns over us so much that, as Joseph Hart sweetly sings -
Shouldst thou a moment's absence mourn;
Should some short darkness intervene;
He'll give thee power, till light return,
To trust him, with the cloud between!
'My kindness shall not depart from thee.' O my loving Lord, let the support and comfort of this precious 'shall not' sink deep into my soul this morning, and strengthen me to face every difficulty, and resist every evil, and bear any trial with the courage such an assurance gives! Or, make it a sweet resting-place and refuge for me, Lord, where I may be sheltered from all the disturbing changes of the world around me. Though friends may grow cold, and times may change, and circumstances may alter, and old age may creep on, and infirmities may gather themselves together, and flesh and heart me fail- yes, though my feet touch the cold waters of the river of death- this promise will stand firm and true, and your kindness shall not depart from me for ever, for it shall present me 'faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy'.
He is indeed kind.... the very definition of kindness. May we be more like him, in our kindnesses to one another.
The flu.... mostly gone! Praise God for his kindness to us all.
The book :
I highly recommend it.