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Saturday, July 11, 2009

As if by sea

"Just as at sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will."

(St. Gregory of Nyssa, b. 331? - d. 396?)

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"Many years ago, F. B. Meyer was returning to England from northern Ireland by ship. It was night, and as the ship was entering the harbor, nothing was to be seen but a confusing array of lights. Dr. Meyer was concerned as to how the captain could hope to navigate into the harbor safely at night in such a confusing jumble of lights, and said so.

The captain called him up to the bridge and said, 'You see, Sir, it’s really very simple. I’ll show you how. Do you see that big light over to the left? And do you see that other big light over there to the right of it? And now, do you see that outstanding light further still this way? Well now, keep your eyes on those three lights and see what happens.'

Dr. Meyer did so. The big outer light on the left gradually moved in until it coincided with the middle one. Then, as the ship veered further, that light gradually merged into the third.

'There now,' said the boatman, 'All I have to do is to see that those three big lights become one; then I go straight forward.'

Even so, when the Word of Scripture and the inward urge of the conscience and the corroboration of outward circumstances become one, we need have no fear. We may go straight ahead. God’s will is clear."

(J. Sidlow Baxter, "Does God Still Guide?")

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