The third rule helps to make both first and second effective. These three are closely interwoven. They always work together. Each suggests the other two. They are an interwoven trinity. The third is this, prayerful about everything
. There are some unusually fine bits from the old Book to help here. Referring to the discipline which God's love makes Him use, David says: |For His anger is but for a moment: His favor
is for a lifetime
. Weeping may
come in to lodge at even, but joy cometh in the morning.| There may
be weeping. There shall
be joy. Weeping won't stay long.
There's a morning coming, always a morning coming, with the sunshine and the chorus of the birds. Love's discipling touch that seems at the moment like anger is only for a moment. (The printer wanted to change that word discipling to disciplining; but God's tenderness comes to us anew when we realize that disciplining with its sharp edge means the same as discipling with its softer warmer touch.) The loving favor is for always, a lifetime of eternal life.
Again David says, |Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.| The margin explains that the thing that weighs as a burden is something God has given us. He has sent it or allowed it to come. He has strong purpose in all He does. Here the promise is not that the burden will be removed, but that He will pick up both you and your burden into His arms and carry both. Many a man has praised God for the burden that made him know the tender touch of strong arms.
The same thing is repeated in the Sixty-eighth Psalm with tender variations. |Blessed be the Lord who day by day beareth our burden.| Probably Peter knew a good bit about this subject. His temperament was of the impulsive sort that knows quick squalls at sea. But he had learned how to ride through them undisturbed to the calmer waters. He says, |Casting all your anxiety upon Him because He careth for you.| The force of the French version is said to be |unloading your anxiety upon Him.| Back the cart up, tilt it over, let down the tail-board, let it all slip out over upon Him. The literal reading of that last half is, |He has you on His heart.|
|Is not this enough alone
For the gladness of the day?|
But many of us have an inner feeling that some matters are too small, too trivial to take to God. We will take the great things, the serious things to Him and find the help needed. But it seems childish almost to be bothering the great God about trifling details, we are apt to think. We are even annoyed with ourselves to think that we have allowed such petty things to make us lose our balance and control. We want to underscore and italicize this fact: if a thing is big enough to concern you, it is not too small for Him |because He has you on His heart.| For your sake He is eager to help in anything, however small in itself it may seem.
Indeed it is the little things that fret and tease and nag so. The big things are more easily handled. But the little insectivorous details that will not down! Have you ever had this experience? You have retired on a hot summer night, tired and heavy with sleep. You are almost off when a mosquito that in some inexplicable way has eluded all screens and nettings comes singing its way about your face. It is just one. It seems so small. If it were only big enough to hit, something worthy of one's strength. But the mean little nagging specimen seems to elude every effort of yours. Maybe you take calm, deliberate measures to end its existence, but meanwhile you are thoroughly aroused and lose quite a bit of the sleep you need.
Just such a mosquito warfare do the little cares make upon one's strength, frittering it away. It cannot be too insistently repeated that whatever is big enough to cause me any thought is not too small for my God. He is concerned because I am concerned.