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176

LI

THE REVELATION IN THE AFTER DAYS

“What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”—John xiii. 7.

THERE are numberless things to which at present we have no clue. Many of the Master’s words have no immediate significance for us. Many of the things which He does to us hide their secrets. But the veil is only for a while. In after days the dark word will unfold a wealth of strength and grace, and the confusing experience which perplexed us like a fog will find a minister of interpretation in some later experience and it will become transparent. And so revelation waits upon life. We cannot force its secrets by the strenuous grappling work of the intellect. We do not reach the most precious light of God by the venturous journeys of the reason, but by faithful commonplace pilgrimage of daily life. That is 177to say, later events hold the keys to present mysteries. When the later event arrives, it opens the lock of some perplexity, as though the puzzling thing had been touched by a magician’s wand. It is not a bit of good struggling for a premature unfolding of the divine mystery. The revelation awaits our arrival at a certain place on the road, and when Time brings us to that place, and we enter into its experiences, we shall find to our delightful surprise that the old, darksome thing has become luminous. And so the only thing we need to be concerned about is to be on the King’s highroad, stepping out in accordance with His most holy will. “Light is sown for the righteous.” At the right moment the shining harvest will appear.

This is the principle we follow in the training of our children. They have to receive many things whose inner secrets are hid. Many of their lessons are little else than words, and their treasures may not be realised for many years. Our children can bear the elementary lesson, but they could not receive the more profound explanation. And so they have to await the unfolding. 178The teacher could not unlock the words for his pupils; they can only be unlocked by the maturing years. There is a passage in “Sentimental Tommy” which says all this much better than I am saying it. It is a reference to the Shorter Catechism. “One of the noblest books which Scottish children learn by heart, not understanding it at the time, but its meaning comes long afterwards, and suddenly, when you have most need for it.” That is life’s process of revelation. Words may have been without significance for years, and then there comes a happening which makes the dark words blaze like lamps along the road.

And so, in all our thinking about the perplexing things of life, it is well to remember that many of the solutions will only come with the interpreting years. Do not let us worry when some lock is obstinate. We cannot force the door and enter into the home of light. The key has not yet arrived! Or, to put it in a better way, we have not yet arrived at the key. If we are faithful to our Lord we shall find that all these things have been provided in pairs, and that if God has sent a mystery He will most assuredly 179some day provide the explanation. But if the explanation were given prematurely it would only add to our burden. The light will be given when its shining will be a joy.

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