Thoughts on the Way Home

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Weanedness" by Octavius Winslow

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself as a
child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is
even as a weaned child”—Psalm 131:2.

There are few lessons taught in God’s school more difficult to learn, and yet, when really learned, more blessed and holy, than the lesson of weanedness. The heart resembles the vine, which as it grows, grasps and unites its feeble tendrils to every support within its reach. Or, it is like the ivy, which climbs and wraps itself around some beautiful but decayed and crumbling ruin. As our social affections develop and expand, they naturally seek a resting-place. Traveling, as it were, beyond themselves, breathing love and yearning for friendship, they go forth seeking some kindred spirit, some “second self,” upon which they may repose, and around which they may entwine. To detach from this inordinate, idolatrous clinging to the animate and the inanimate creatures and objects of sense, is one grand end of God’s disciplinary dealings with us in the present life. The discovery which we make, in the process of his dealings, of the insufficiency and insecurity of the things upon which we set our affections, is often acutely painful. Like that vine, we find that we grasped a support at the root of which the cankerworm was secretly feeding,—and presently it fell! Or, like that ivy, we discover that we have been spreading our affections around an object which, even while we clung to and adored it, was crumbling and falling into dust,—and presently it became a ruin! And what is the grand lesson which, by this process, God would teach us? The lesson of weanedness from all and everything of an earthly and a created nature. Thus was David instructed, and this was the result: “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” It may be profitable, tried and suffering reader, briefly to contemplate this holy state, and then the way by which the Lord frequently brings his people into its experience.

Midnight Harmonies