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Now the Lord my God hath given me
rest on every side. 1 Kings v. 4.
GOD is the Rest‑Giver, When He surrounds us on every side with his protecting care, so that our life resembles one of the cities of the Netherlands in the great war ‑‑ inaccessible to the foe because surrounded by the waters of the sea, admitted through the sluice ‑‑ then neither adversary nor evil occurrent can break in, and we are kept in perfect peace, our minds being stayed on God.
"Hidden in the hollow of his blessed hand,
Never foe can enter, never traitor stand.
Have you experienced the rest which comes by putting God round about you, on every side ‑‑ like the light which burns brightly on a windy night because surrounded by its four panes of clear glass! Ah! what a contrast between the third and fourth verse: Wars on every side; Rest on every side. And yet the two are compatible, because the wars expend themselves on God, as the waves on the shingle; and there are far reaches of rest within, like orchards and meadows and pasture‑lands beyond the reach of the devastating water.
Out of such rest should come the best work. We are not surprised to find Solomon announcing his purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord. Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus, anointed Him. Out of quiet hearts arise the greatest resolves; just as from the seclusion of country hamlets have come the greatest warriors, statesmen, and patriots. Men think, foolishly, that the active, ever‑moving souls are the strongest. It is not so, however. They expend themselves before the day of trial comes. Give me those who have the power to restrain themselves and wait; these are they that can act with the greatest momentum in the hour of crisis.