I was reading an old book this morning, published in 1950. My friend Sherry mailed it to me several years ago along with several other Old Path books of spiritual richness. I want to share these paragraphs with you today.
“In my early life I entered into a partnership with a friend in the wholesale ice businessAs time passed on we met with disappointments. For two seasons in succession our ice was swept away by winter freshets. Things had come to a serious pass. It seemed very necessary that we should have ice in the winter of which I now speak. The weather became very cold. The ice formed and grew thicker and thicker, until it was fit to gather. I remember the joy that came into our hearts one afternoon when there came an order for thousands of tons of ice which would lift us entirely out from our financial stress. Not long before God had let me see the truth of committal. He showed me that it was His will that I should commit my business to Him and trust Him with it absolutely. As best I knew how I had done so. I never dreamed what testing was coming.
And so I lay down that Saturday night in quietness. But, at midnight there came an ominous sound – that of rain. By morning it was pouring in torrents. I looked out upon the river from my home upon the village hillside. Yellow streaks of water were creeping over the ice. I knew what that meant. The water was at flood stage. That condition had swept away our ice twice before. By noon the storm was raging in all its violence. By afternoon I had come into a great spiritual crisis in my life.
That might seem strange – to come into a spiritual crisis over a seemingly trivial matter. But I have learned this: a matter may be seemingly trivial, but the crisis that turns upon a small matter may be a profound and far-reaching one in our lives. And so it was with me. For by mid-afternoon that day I had come face to face with the tremendous fact that down deep in my heart was a spirit of rebellion against God. And that rebelliousness seemed to develop in a suggestion to my heart like this:
“You gave all to God. You say you are going to trust God with your business. This the way He requites you. Your business will be swept away, and tomorrow you will come into a place of desperate financial stress.” And I found my heart growing bitter at the thought that God should take away my business when I wanted it only for legitimate purposes.
Then another voice seemed to speak: “My child, did you mean it when you said you would trust Me? Can you not trust Me in the dark as well as in the light? Would I do anything, or suffer anything to come into your life which will not work out good for you?” And then came that other voice: “But it is hard. Why should not God spare your ice? Why should He take your business when it is clean and honest and you want to use it aright?” It was a very plausible sort of voice, and for the moment I did not detect the serpent hiss that was in it – in that word, “Why.”
Still back and forth with ever-increasing intensity, waged one of the greatest spiritual battles of my life. At the end of two hours, by the grace of God, I was able to cry out, “Take the business; take the ice; take everything; only give me the supreme blessing of an absolutely submitted will to Thee.” And then came peace.
The storm was still beating upon the earth and upon my ice. But it did not seem to make any difference whether it rained or ceased. Then and there I discovered that the secret of anxious care is not in surroundings, but in the failure of allowing life and will to be wholly given up to Him amid all circumstances and surroundings.
That night I lay down to rest in perfect peace, but with the rain pouring torrents upon my field of ice, and with every prospect that my business would lie in wreck the next morning. But it did not. By midnight there came another sound that of wind. By morning the bitterest blizzard of the year was upon us. By evening the mercury had fallen to the zero point. And in a few days we were harvesting the finest ice we ever had. God did not want my ice. But He did want my yielded will, and my absolute trust in Him, and when that was settled, He gave back the ice; He blessed the business; and He led me on and out, until He guided me from it entirely, into the place He had for me from the beginning – that of a teacher of His Word.”
~ James McConkey, as quoted in Crowded to Christ, by L.E. Maxwell
Thought for Today: Stand still and see God’s Salvation
Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part; it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” Precipitancy cries, “Do something; stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.” Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it, and expect a miracle.” But Faith listens neither to Presumption nor to Despair nor to Cowardice nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands.
~ C.H. Spurgeon
If you have a chance to buy a used copy of Crowded to Christ, take it. I only saw two available on Amazon used, but they were not cheap. The book is real gold, especially for those going through very difficult, trying and bewildering times. When we are “crowded to Christ”, real faith is the only choice.