Evening, May 20, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I led them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” — Hosea 11:4

Our heavenly Father often draws us with the cords of love; but oh, how reticent we are to run towards him! How slowly we respond to his gentle impulses! He draws us to exercise a simpler faith in him; but we have not yet attained to Abraham’s confidence; we do not leave our worldly cares with God, but, like Martha, we encumber ourselves with much serving. Our meager faith brings leanness into our souls; we do not open our mouths wide, though God has promised to fill them. Does he not yet this evening draw us to trust him? Can we not hear him say, “Come, my child, and trust me. The veil is rent; enter into my presence, and approach boldly to the throne of my grace. I am worthy of your fullest confidence, cast your cares on me. Shake yourself from the dust of your cares and put on your beautiful garments of joy.” But, unfortunately, though called with melodies of love to the welcome exercise of this comforting grace, we will not come. At another time he draws us to closer communion with himself. We have been sitting on the doorstep of God’s house, and he bids us to advance into the banqueting hall and dine with him, but we decline the honor. There are secret rooms not yet opened to us; Jesus invites us to enter them, but we hold back. Shame on our cold hearts! We are only poor lovers of our sweet Lord Jesus, not fit to be his servants, much less to be his brides, and yet he has exalted us to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, married to him by a glorious marriage covenant. Here is love! But it is love which accepts no denial. If we do not obey the gentle drawings of his love, he will send affliction to drive us into closer intimacy with himself. He will drive us nearer. What foolish children we are to refuse those bands of love, and so bring upon our backs that scourge of small cords, which Jesus knows how to use!