by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXVI

September, 1946

Number 2

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

You believe that all is out of God, through God and for God, Romans 11:36, and that God is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will, Ephesians 1:11. If you believe this abstractly, it means very little. But if you believe it to the extent that you can see the operation of this truth in your everyday experiences, your faith is worth much to you as you go along through life. If we are able to do this we, need not have a dull minute. Life becomes extremely interesting.  

Nothing is so trivial as to be excluded from these texts. Christ said, "Now on your head even the hairs are numbered," Matthew 10:30. For some reason, it is important to God that I have a certain number of hairs on my head. This was said to the Circumcision, but I see no reason why it should not also be true of those of the nations. I do not know why this is important to God. But I am convinced that it is. Therefore, the number of hairs on my head from day to day is prescribed by Him.  

After starting this editorial, it occurred to me that it would be very interesting to take note of my experiences of this day. When my mail came there was a letter form a dear saint in a distant city, telling me things that cheered me for it answered a question that had been giving me some concern. There was another letter from two of my grandchildren, assuring me and my wife of their sincere love. We knew they loved us, but it lifted us greatly, for them to say so.  

When I opened the third letter it was from a saint in need. This was an opportunity for me to send him some money, which I praised the Lord that I was able to do. I sent it in the name of the Lord. The fourth letter was from a brother in a distant state, asking if he might visit me on his vacation. Of course he may! It make me very happy to know that he has this desire.  

In writing a check today for a saint who wanted to borrow a small sum of money, for which I, of course, will not charge interest, I struck the wrong key on the typewriter, and made the check for a dollar more than was intended. My first thought was to write another, correcting the error. But something within said, "Why not just donate the extra dollar? He needs it more than you do." Well, I did just that. I take no credit for it; it was one of the things that is out of God. Yes, I am convinced that the God Who numbers the hairs of my head guided my finger when I was writing the check. 

I do not mean to argue against correcting errors. But when we do make a correction, this, too, is out of God.  

I started to visit some of the saints who live out of town. But the matter was dismissed for the day, when other things came up to hinder. These things were the necessity of writing letters in reply to some of those I had received. So my not going out of town is out of God. What His full purpose is, I cannot know. However, one thing occurred, which I am convinced He had in mind when He caused me to postpone my trip. I met a friend who was looking for me in order that he might have a "mess" of fish. My wife likes fish better than anything else, and this friend had more than he wanted to keep. So we had fish for one of our meals today, and this was out of God.  

But far better than the fish, is the fact that this man wanted to give them to us. He does not worship at our meeting house, but I am convinced that he loves the truth we proclaim, and wanted to show it in this way. It is entirely possible for people to love the truth, and yet not openly confess it. This same man and his wife showed their love for our teaching, when, sometime ago, they gave to the ecclesia a piano. 

Not every day is filled with such pleasant experiences. Sometimes there are bitter disappointments, and grief. Bur these, too, are out of God. I thank God for them, for He has a purpose in them, even though I have to suffer. Who am I, that I should not have suffering? How wayward I would be, if there came nothing in my life to sober me!

For instance, recently, there came to me a letter telling of great distress and disappointment being suffered by a friend. Immediately I became sad, and sought the Lord in prayer—not so much for myself, as for the other. Thus, this sad news was out of God. The distressing circumstances being endured by the friend was out of God. Not even a sparrow can fall on the earth without the Father, Matthew 10:30. So is it true that my friend could not be brought down to the brink of despair, except by the Father. No matter what immediate agents He used, He is the first Cause.  

I am convinced that if our mind is exercised to look for the hand of God in everything, we will never have another dull hour. We may not know the answers to one question out of several thousand, but it is interesting to believe that every event has a reason hidden in God, and to wonder what is the meaning of this or that. For instance, from where I sit I can look into my garden, and see that the dry weather is causing my okra plants to wither almost as if they were dead. There can be no fruit unless rain comes soon; but I am not distressed. The reason is in God; all is out of Him.  

There would be very little comfort in the fact that all is out of Him, were it not for the further statement that all is THROUGH Him and FOR Him. for Him! Thank God for this! Whether or not daily events bring pleasure to me, they will ALL bring pleasure and profit to Him. This is all I need to know about it.  

Early this morning a merchant charged me far too much for meat. I declined to pay it, and went to another store, where a dear brother in Christ had the privilege of arranging for the grocer to sell me what I wanted at a reduced price, the brother paying the difference. This made him happy. Who will say that this whole transaction was not out of God, through Him, and for Him?  

In the afternoon I visited a sister who has been confined to her bed for weeks. I found her cheerful, not because she was better, but because she had been spending much time reading the scriptures. In health, she, like nearly all other people, did not have the time to study the word of God. She told of many things she had found in the word. Her illness is out of God, I am sure. I had the privilege of talking to her about various matters having to do with the power and love of God—His ability to not only save, but also to heal when it is His pleasure to do so.  

I have said that when we learn to look for the hand of God in all matters, we are taught wonderful lessons every day. Sometime ago, at midnight, I left a distant city to return home. I was thinking of the joy I might have on the way. I was able to see that my experiences on the trip might be like my day of life. Darkness prevailed during the first few hours of the trip, and it remained me that the first few years of my life were spent in darkness, as to the knowledge of the love of God. After sunrise there was a thick fog which kept me from seeing more than a few yards from the train. This reminded me that after becoming a saint I spent a few years in a fog, so far as knowing God's ultimate.

The rest of the day was a mixture of clouds and fair weather. This was like my life—a mixture of joys and sorrow. This was as it ought to be. Just before sunset the mountains were bathed in beauty as the clouds in the western sky cleared away. Never before had I seen such a glory. The landscape was submerged in it. I believe that if I have to see my day end in the night of death, God will light my way with glory as I am sinking.

After the sun had dipped down out of my sight, I looked to the left and saw a mountain shrouded in the most glorious cloud. It looked as light as fluffy snow. There was no darkness about it—no threat of lightening or thunder. I believe this to be a parable of the last glimpse I shall have of God before I sink into the night of death.

Before long I was on a bed in a hotel, and sank immediately into deep slumber. To my consciousness I was awakened a moment later by the musical peal of the telephone. In truth, I had slept for several hours, but there is no time in unconsciousness. So shall it be, that if I sleep in death, there will be no time in the grave, although I may lie there many years. A Voice, sweeter than that of any bell designed by man, shall awaken me.  

I arose, thinking of what joy I had expected that day. I would meet my loved ones; I would sit at my own table; I would mix and mingle with friends; I would have delights of which I had dreamed all the day before. So will it be when our Lord shall descend from heaven and call me from sleep. Nothing except delights and usefulness shall be before me. And I shall not be disappointed.  

Yes, reader, it is blessed to see the hand of God in all. Happiness and interest will be perpetual, if we can understand that out of Him, through Him and for Him is all, and if we learn to apply this to our every experience.

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