Holy desperation does not mean unholy frenzy. The way out of a stupor is not the way into a stew. The cure for rigor mortis is not Saint Vitus’s dance. Too many excited Christians wake up suddenly and slash off ears, as Peter did, leaving the Lord to repair the damage done by their misdirected zeal. When the house is on fire we need to keep cool. Otherwise we shall throw clocks out of the windows and carry feather pillows downstairs.
But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey.
Joseph and Mary supposed Jesus was with them when He was not. How many religious groups and movements run on for years long after Jesus has dropped out from the procession!
How many churches still carry on their programs, their Sunday-by-Sunday uprisings and downsittings and yet, like Samson, wist not that the Spirit of the Lord has departed!
And all because so many of us go on many a day’s journey after we have left Jesus far behind, so far as the conscious sense of His presence and blessing is concerned. We sing the same songs, say the same prayers, give the same testimonies, but men see Him not in their lives because His presence is only a supposition.
It will not do to proceed on a supposition. We must make sure of Jesus or we travel in vain. Nothing is so futile as religious activity that only imagines the Lord’s presence. We might well inquire, “Is the Lord among us or not?” It is wrong to doubt His presence when we may be sure of it, but it is foolish to imagine His presence when there is proper occasion to doubt it.