by George H. Morrison

Unconscious Girding
George H. Morrison
Isaiah 45:5

It was to Cyrus, King of Persia, that these words were addressed. They revealed to him the secret of his life. Cyrus had conquered Babylon and granted liberty to captive Israel. From what motives of policy he acted it is perhaps impossible to say. But here the curtain is lifted for a moment, and back of all the conscious aims of Cyrus we see the conqueror in the hand of God. Cyrus was a pagan. He bowed down to the ancient gods of Persia. He had never known the Lord's name nor worshiped toward His holy temple. Yet all the time, right through his youth and manhood and in his handling of victorious armies, God had been girding him although he never knew it. So are we taught that in every separate life, back of our striving there is a plan of God. We are being trained and disciplined and led when we never know anything about it. There is no chance or accident in life. Things we rebel against are in the ordering. Love and wisdom are girding all the time.

We see that with peculiar clarity in the various biographies of Scripture. Think, for instance, of the life of Joseph. When Joseph was seized and cast into the pit, it must have seemed to him a cruel fate. When he was carried off in slavery to Egypt, it must have looked as if God had quite forgotten him. Yet the hour was coming when in that very place, surrounded by his suppliant brothers, Joseph was to say, "It was not you who brought me hither: it was God" (Gen. 45:8). The pit and the slavery were not in Joseph's plan. To him they were cruel and terrible intrusions. Had he been given liberty of choice he certainly never would have chosen such things. And in every life, in your life and in mine, are things we never should have chosen for ourselves, and the question is, how do we regard them? Do we take up a quarrel against life? Are we angry because our plans are shattered? Do we feel as if some blind fury were at work with us? Do we resent such meaningless int ...

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