By R.C. Chapman
“For, look, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.” (Song of Solomon 2:11)
Lord, I remember Your dealings with me! When Your hand at first arrested me! When Your Spirit convinced me of sin, my cup was bitter with my guilt and the fruit of my doings; my joy was turned into mourning; my soul was like a salt land, accursed of God; the hail and storm swept away my refuge of lies! I was alive without the commandment, once; ignorant of the Holy law of God, while I was still under it; but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. Then all was dreary winter within, and therefore it was winter without. I was sick of the world, hating it in frustration of spirit, while I was unable and unwilling to cast it out. I found no city to live in, I wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way.
In the good and set time You spoke to me, saying, “This is the rest where you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing”. (Isaiah 28:12) And how sweet are Your words: “Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you”. (Matthew 9:2) How precious in the sight of the Lamb of God! And How how glorious the robe of righteousness, hiding all my sin and pollution from the holy eyes of my Judge!
Then the lame man leaped as a deer, and the tongue of those who could not speak sang. In Jesus crucified, in You, my Lord, my soul found rest, and in the heart of Your love.
It is true, I still have griefs, and tears still stand in my eyes; but, Lord, I love my griefs and welcome my tears: for now I know You, my Brother born for adversity! And when, o when are You so near, as when Your tender heart takes part in Your peoples’ sorrow! Nor would I trade my bitter cup (which my Lord’s love makes so sweet) for a world of carnal joys.
If I did not know You, I would have no place of rest for my soul; my every cistern proven broken. I’d have no faithful Friend such as You, almighty, all wise, unchangeable, to soothe my grief and bear my burden. But in all that dismal path I now see Your hand! I was under the curse, but your truth has made me free.(John 8:32) The winter is past, for I am in Christ Jesus: walking no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit, the rain is over and gone.
I don’t grieve as I once did, for You show me Your hands and feet! You make me that I don’t mourn with terrors and hopeless sorrow, but for You whom I pierced, and for sin which made for You Your crown of thorns! I am troubled in the troubles of my brothers, and because of the transgressions of the wicked. Moreover, I ponder the unbelief of Israel, the seed of Abraham, Your friend; and look forward, with living hope, to the morning without clouds, to the day when Israel will say,”Look! This is our God; we have waited for Him”;(Isaiah 25:9) and You will say to Zion,”Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away”. (Song of Solomon 2:10) How Long, Lord? You will hasten in in Your time.
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