Leaving It There
“Leave it all quietly to God, my soul.” Psa_62:1 (Moffatt)
There are times in life when it is a great help to have someone say to us, “Leave all that to me.” Like a gentle wind it blows the clouds away. When one has a difficult schedule or has arrangements to make for a marriage or a funeral, to have someone who is competent and expert take over is often an untold relief. There is much in life that we must do ourselves, and no one can relieve us of certain duties. There are crosses each of us must carry and burdens nobody can take away. But how much more difficult life would be in times of anxiety or strain were there not someone standing by to say to us, “Leave all that to me.” That is particularly the voice of fatherhood, which in reality is the secret of childhood’s carefree spirit. A child does not worry about clothes or meals. Instinctively it leaves that to its father. And much of the joy of childhood springs from the trustful relationship to somebody who says, “Leave all that to me.”
It is beautiful to notice how the psalmist had grasped that comforting energy of God. Baffled, betrayed, a prey to bitter anguish—”Leave it all quietly to God, my soul.” And so for him, too, came interior peace, and the light of heaven began to shine again and the storm was changed to calm.
Now this command which the psalmist gave his soul is one of the secrets of the spiritual life. No passing of ages has made it less imperative. Think, for instance, of those ways of providence which it is impossible to understand, for in every life, however blessed and happy, there are things impossible to understand. And often these are strange and bitter and so difficult to reconcile with love that the bravest soul is near to unbelief. When prayers seem to go unanswered, when someone dear and young is taken away, when those who would not harm a living creature are bowed under intolerable pain, how hard it is to say that God is good, and saying it, believe it with a confidence which is pleasing in His eyes. We want to know. We want to understand. Sometimes, like Job, we expostulate with God. And so, expostulating, everything grows harder till we are brought to the margins of despair. How much wiser the attitude of David, plunged into the very sea of trouble—”Leave it all quietly to God, my soul.”
We are not here just to understand. Now we know in part and see in part. We are here to glorify God by trusting Him even when we do not understand. And such trusting carries its own evidences in the rich inward peace it brings as if our life were in tune with the Eternal. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” His meat was neither to probe nor to expostulate. When the cup was bitter, when the cross was heaviest, when the lights were darkened in the Garden of Gethsemane—He left it all quietly to God.
Questions Too Deep for Us
Think of those intellectual problems which visit and perplex the human mind. There are times in life when these are very perplexing. Who that has ever thought at all has not had anxious thoughts about the doctrine of election? What, too, of the foreordering of God and of His sovereignty, universal and particular, if I am really a creature of free will? Such things, and a thousand things like these, puzzle and confound the human mind. And we are so made that we cannot avoid thinking of them with the mysterious facilities which God has given us. Yet I venture to say that something must be wrong if such great thoughts that have baffled all the centuries rob the believer of his joy and peace.
There are times when it is well to consider such things. A great problem may be an inspiration. The opposite of faith is never reason; the opposite of faith is sight. But there are other times when the highest part of wisdom is not to torment ourselves with things too high for us, but to give our souls the counsel of the psalmist—”Leave it all quietly to God, my soul.” Someday we shall arrive and understand. We shall see His face and His name shall be on our foreheads—it shall be written out in the region of the brain. Meantime we have a life to live, a heart to cultivate, a service to perform. “What is that to thee—follow thou me.”
Failure and Discouragement
Again, we are to remember the psalmist’s counsel in the hours when we have done our best—and failed. The higher the service that we seek to render, the more are we haunted by the sense of failure. The man who has no goal doesn’t fear failure. But in higher ministries, when soul is touching soul and we are working not in things, but lives, how haunting is the sense of failure. Every Sunday School teacher knows it well, every mother with her growing family, and every preacher of the Gospel. So little accomplished, so little difference made, so little fruit for the laborious toil, although the seed sown may have been steeped in prayer. Well then, are we to give up in discouragement? Are we to leave the battle line and be spectators because we hear no cheering sound of triumph? My dear reader, there is a better way, and it is just the old way of this gallant psalmist—”Leave it all quietly to God, my soul.”
Often when we fail, we are succeeding. We are doing more than we have dreamed. We are helping with our rough, coarse hands because Another with a pierced hand is there. Do your best, and do it for His sake. Keep on doing it and don’t resign. And as to fruitage and harvest and success—leave it all quietly to Him.
“When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be,
I do the little I can do,
And leave the rest to Thee.”