Friday, January 7, 2011

God is Enough

Hannah Whitall Smith lived from 1832 till 1911 and, along with her husband, was active as a speaker in Christian conferences in the U.S. and Europe.  From her well-known book, God of All Comfort, comes the following quote:

Detaching and Emptying

The old mystics used to teach what they call "detachment," meaning the cutting loose of the soul from all that could hold it back from God.  This need for detachment is the secret of much of our instability.  We cannot follow the Lord fully so long as we are tied fast to anything else, any more than a boat can sail out into the boundless ocean so long as it is tied fast to the shore.

If we want to reach the "city which hath sure and steadfast foundations" (Heb. 1:10, para), we must go out like Abraham from all other cities and be detached from every earthly attachment.  Everything in Abraham's life that could be shaken was shaken.  He was, as it were, emptied from vessel to vessel, here today and gone tomorrow; all his resting places disturbed and no settlement or comfort anywhere.  We, like Abraham, are looking for a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God' and therefore we too need to be emptied from vessel to vessel.

But we do not realize this, and when the overturnings and shootings come, we are in despair and think we will never reach the city that has foundations.  But it is these very shakings that make it possible for us to reach it.  The psalmist had learned this, and after all the shakings and emptyings of his eventful life, he cried, "In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God" (Ps. 627).  At last God was everything to him; he found that God was enough.  It is the same with us: when only that which cannot be shaken remains, we learn to have our expectation from Him alone.

(Quote taken from God is Enough: 365 Daily Devotions, Edited by Melvin E. Dieter and Hallie A. Dieter, Francis Asbury Press, 1986)


Emilie LaFave said...

I have the book God is Enough. It is such a wonderful book for daily devotions, along with the Bible.
But I can never stop with just one page; I read ahead of the current date. Hannah Whitall Smith also wrote The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life - which I read in my twenties, while trying to find out how to be rooted and grounded in the Lord. I am a retired RN, and God is still my refuge and strength.
Emilie LaFave in NC 2-6-13

Ginger Kauffman said...

Thank you for your beautiful testimony, Emilie. Indeed, no matter where we are in life, God is enough!
Blessings! Ginger