For you are my lamp, O Lord

For you are my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord will lighten my darkness.” 2 Samuel 22:29

Octavius Winslow

BLESSED Lord! You are my light. Accepted in Your righteousness, I am “clothed with the sun.” Dark in myself, I am light in You. Often have You turned my gloomy night into sunny day. Yes, Lord, and with a love not less tender, You have sometimes turned my “morning of joy” into a “night of weeping.” Yet have You made my very griefs to sing. Many a dark cloud of my pilgrimage has You fringed with Your golden beams. “In Your light have I seen light” upon many a gloomy and mysterious dispensation of my covenant God. “By Your light I have walked through darkness,” many a long and lonely stage of my journey. Oh, how have You gone before me each step You do bid me to travel. You, too, did pass through Your night of solitude, suffering, and woe. But You were deprived of the alleviations which You do so graciously and tenderly vouchsafe to me. Not a beam illumined, not a note cheered, the midnight of Your soul. The light of the manifested Fatherhood was hidden from Your view, and in bitter agony did You exclaim, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” And all this did You willingly endure, that I might have a song in the night of my grief. Thus Your darkness becomes my light; Your suffering my joy; Your humiliation my glory; Your death my life; Your curse my crown.

O Lord! that is a blessed night of weeping in which I can sing of Your sustaining grace, of Your enlivening presence, of Your unfaltering faithfulness, of Your tender love. In Your school how well have You instructed me! How patiently and skillfully have You taught me! I could not have done without Your teaching and Your discipline. With not one night of suffering, with not one chastising stroke, with not one ingredient in my cup of sorrow, could I safely have dispensed. All was needful. And now I can see, as faith, with a reflex action, surveys all the past, with what infinite wisdom and skill, integrity and gentleness, You were appointing all, and overruling all the incidents and windings of my history. With not less shame and self-abhorrence do I cover my face, and lay my mouth in the dust before You, because You has brought light out of my darkness, and educed good from my evil, and overruled all my mistakes and departures for my greater advance and Your richer glory, and are now “pacified towards me for all that I have done.” I have stumbled, and You have upheld me. I have fallen, and You have raised me up. I have wandered, and You have restored. I have wounded myself, and You have healed me. Oh, what a God have You been to me! What a Father! What a Friend! Shall I ever distrust You, ever disbelieve You, ever wound You, ever leave You more? Ah! Lord, a thousand times over, yes, this very moment, but for Your restraining grace. “Hold You me up, and I shall be safe.”

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