32621 the wind blows
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it." (Isa. 40:7.) "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeared for a little time, and then vanished away." (James 4:14.) You know how swiftly a weaver's shuttle flies; but your life flies more swiftly: "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." (Job 7:6.) "My days are swifter than a post; they are passed away as the swift ships; as the eagle that hasteth to the prey." (Job 9:25,26.) (2) How much is already passed away. Most believers spent their first days in sin. Many hearing me gave their best days to sin and the world. Many among you have only the lame, and the torn, and the sick, to give to God. All of you can look on the past as a sleep, or as a tale that is told. The time since I came among you appears to me just like a dream.
What remains is all numbered. All of you hearing me have your Sabbaths numbered—the number of sermons you are to hear. The last one is already fixed upon. Your years are numbered. To many this is the last year they shall ever see in this world. Many will celebrate their next new year in glory. The disease is now in the body of many of you that is to lay you in the dust; and your grave is already marked out. In a little while you will be lying quietly there. The time of this world's continuance is short. "The end of all things is at hand"—"The fashion of this world passed away." A believer stands on a watch-tower—things present are below his feet—things eternal are before his eyes. A little while, brethren, and the day of grace will be over—preaching, praying will be done. Soon we shall give over wrestling with an unbelieving world—soon the number of believers shall be complete, and the sky open over our heads, and Christ shall come.
His parting cry was: "Surely I come quickly." Then we shall see Him "whom, having not seen, we loved." A little while, and we shall stand before the great white throne: a little while, and the wicked shall not be—we shall see them going away into everlasting punishment; a little while, and the work of eternity shall be begun. We shall be like Him—we shall see Him day and night in His temple—we shall sing the new song, without sin and without weariness for ever and ever. In a little moment, brethren, all this shall be: "For a small moment have I hid My face from thee; but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee." It remained, therefore, that they who have wives be as though they had none. Marriage is honourable in all. Husbands should love their wives, even as Christ loved the Church: "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies." Still it must not be idolatry.
A married believer should be, in some respects, as if he were unmarried—as if he had no wife. "Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee." You cannot be too kind, too gentle, too loving, to the parents whom God has given you; yet be as though you had none. Parents, love your children, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; yet feel that the time is short. They are only a loan from the Lord. Be not surprised if He take His own. Esteem your ministers highly in love, for their work's sake; yet be as if you had none. Lean as entirely on Christ as if you had never seen or heard a minister. Brainerd mentions an instance of one woman, who, after her conversion, was resigned to the divine will in the tenderise points: "What if God should take away your husband from you—how do you think you would bear that?" She replied: "He belongs to God, and not to me He may do with him just what He pleases."
When she longed to die, to be free from sin, she was asked what would become of her infant; she answered, "God will take care of it; it belongs to Him—He will take care of it." Rutherford says: "Build your nest upon no tree here; for you see God hath sold the forest to Death, and every tree whereon we would rest is ready to be cut down, to the end we may flee and mount up, and build upon the Rock, and dwell in the holes of the Rock." Set not your heart on the flowers of this world; for they have all a canker in them. Prize the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley more than all; for He changed not. Live nearer to Christ than to the saints, so that when they are taken from you, you may have Him to lean on still. They that weep should be as though they wept not.
This world is the value of tears. There is always some mourning. No sooner is the tear dried up on one cheek that it trickles down another. No sooner does one widow lay aside her weeds, than another takes them up. Those that are in Christ should weep as though they wept not; "for the time is short." Do you weep over those that died in the Lord? It is right to weep: "Jesus wept." Yet weep as though you wept not; "for the time is short." They are not lost, but gone before.
The sun, when it sets, is not lost; it is gone to shine in another hemisphere; and so have they gone to shine in a brighter world. It is self-love that makes you mourn for them; for they are happy. You would not mourn if they were with a distant friend on earth—why do you mourn that they are with the sinner's Friend? "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light upon them, nor the heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto fountains of living waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Rev. 6:16,17.) "The time is short;" and you will follow after.
A few days, and you may be leaning together on the bosom of Jesus; you are nearer them today than you were yesterday. "The time is short;" and you will meet with all the redeemed at the right hand of Christ—we shall mingle our voices in the new song, and wave together the eternal palm! "Weep as though you wept not." Do you weep over those that died out of the Lord? Ah! There is deeper cause for weeping here; and yet the time is short, when all this will be explained to you, and you will not be able to shed a tear over the lost. A little while, and you will see Jesus fully glorified, and you will not be able to wish anything different from what has happened. When Aaron lost his two sons, he held his peace.
Do you mourn over bodily pain, and poverty, and sickness, and the troubles of the world? Do not murmur: "The time is short." If you have believed in Christ, these are all the hell you will ever bear. Think you the dying thief would complain of his pains when he was within a step of paradise? So it is with you. Your hell is dried up, and you have only these two shallow brooks to pass through—sickness and death; and you have a promise that Christ shall do more than meet you—go with you, foot for foot, and bear you in His arms. When we get to the presence of Jesus, all our grief’s shall look like children’s' grief’s: a day in His presence will make you remember your miseries no more. Wherefore take courage, and run with patience to the open arms of Christ.