Wednesday, November 16, 2011
It is I! -- Octavious Winslow
"Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid." Mark 6:50
Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm!
It is I who raised the tempest in your soul — and will control it.
It is I who sent your affliction — and will be with you in it.
It is I who kindled the furnace — and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.
It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross — and who will strengthen you to bear it.
It is I who mixed your cup of grief — and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will.
It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth — and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child.
It is I who has done it ALL!
I make the clouds My chariot, and clothe Myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.
It is I — your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.
It is I who permitted . . .
the enemy to assail you,
the slander to blast you,
the unkindness to wound you,
the need to press you!
Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above — a heaven-sent blessing disguised as an angel of light, clad in a robe of ebony.
I have sent all in love!
This sickness is not unto death — but for the glory of God.
This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all!
In every stormy wind,
in every darksome night,
in every lonesome hour,
in every rising fear,
— the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, "Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid."
"Cast your burden upon the Lord — and He shall sustain you." Psalm 55:22
It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith that we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear!
But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me — and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty! I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary; and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then — is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it — I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My bosom. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"**********