We enjoy to be used by God, but sometimes it feels like nothing is happening. This little devotion was useful enough for me to share with you. I hope that it will also be a blessing for you as it has been for me.
I have been thinking a lot about the subject of guidance, and I am convinced more and more that it requires great simplicity of spirit to be able easily and clearly to discern the Voice that speaks so gently in our hearts. We must be in the hands of God, as Madame Guyon says, something “like a toy in the hands of a child” used or laid aside just as He pleases, brought out to be admired, or hidden away on the shelf, made to serve pleasant uses, or applied to disagreeable ends and, like a toy, careless of our own hopes of judgments, must desire nothing but to fulfill all the good pleasures of His will!
No doubt, if the toy were able to reason, it would often feel that it was used for very useless purposes and would feel that it could arrange far better for itself but the end of a toy is to give pleasure to its possessor and it is of no consequence how this end is attained. So our end, dear Abby, is to please our Lord and Master and to bring glory to His Name, and we have no need to trouble ourselves as to how He brings this about. The realization of this will save us a lot of anxious questioning. Moment by moment we will hang upon His leading, never stopping to reason as to why we should do this or that, never troubled if it seems to produce results, not even anxious if it seems to have been a mistake concerned still only for one thing, and that is to please our Lord now, in the present moment. And having pleased Him, we have nothing more to do with that act.
I do not believe that light is ever promised for a past step, nor for a future one; for God emphatically wants us to live in the present, moment by moment. And so, darling friend, let me beg you to rest quietly in your Saviour feeling your utter helplessness but His infinite strength!
—To Abby, Millville N.J., September 6, 1865
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).