HE WOULD HAVE PASSED BY
He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
With the Emmaus disciples, “he made as though he would have gone further.” Here He walks the waves, while the amazed disciples suppose they have seen a spirit. He assures them, “It is I.”
Joseph and Mary supposed He was with them when He was not. Here others supposed He was not with them when He was. Mary in the garden supposed Him to be the gardener. No wonder the old Negro maid said, “I never sposes. Dem sposes will get you into trouble.”
When the storm rages, He is there. But He will pass by if you do not avail yourself of His presence. “He would have passed by them…He made as though he would have gone further.” Call upon Him. “Pass me not, O gentle Saviour: do not pass me by.”
He came to them in their distress, but He did not come into the boat until they called. He did not go into the Emmaus home until they constrained Him. He will not intrude. There is a point beyond which He will not go. If we do not invite Him in, He will go on.
Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
I Samuel 7:12.
It was on this date one year ago that my wife faced serious surgery scheduled for next morning. We opened our daily devotional reading for that evening and found it headed “Ebenezer…Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” We encouraged ourselves in the Lord our God as did David of old, confident that the same grace which had brought us safe “thus far” would be sufficient from there on. The God of the Hitherto is the God of the Henceforth!
The backward look is a good look if we review the path already trod to raise our Ebenezer and sing, “Hither by Thy help I’m come.” This is the way to check with the past in order to cope with the future. The faithfulness of God will stand our inventory any time. We shall find that “there failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken…all came to pass.”
And be sure to give God credit. Don’t call it your wits or luck or fortune. Let your testimony be, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” Some have reversed Ebenezer to read, “Hitherto have I helped the Lord.” “Tell how great things the Lord hath done for thee.”