Some years ago, in Hebron Gospel Hall, Ian Jackson quoted “This Thing is From Me” by Laura A. Barter Snow (died 1939). It is a touching and comforting piece of writing that deserves, and will bless, a wide readership. The expression, “This thing is from Me” comes from 1 Kings 12.24.
This Thing is From Me
by Laura A. Barter Snow (died 1939)
The disappointments of life are in reality only the decrees of love.
I have a message for you today, my child. I will whisper it softly in your ear, in order that the storm clouds which appear may be gilt with glory, and that the thorns on which you may have to walk be blunted. The message is but short – a tiny sentence – but allow it to sink into the depths of your heart; and be to you as a cushion on which to rest your weary head: “This thing is from Me”.
Have you never thought that all which concerns you, concerns Me also? “He that touches you touches the center of My eye” (Zech 2.8). You have been precious in My eyes; that is why I take a special interest in your upbringing.
When temptation assails you, and the “enemy comes in like a flood”, I would wish you to know that “This thing is from Me”. I am the God of circumstances. You have not been placed where you are by chance, but because it is the place I have chosen for you. Did you not ask to become humble? See, I have placed you in the very place where this lesson is to be learned. It is by your surroundings and your companions that the workings of My will is to come about.
Have you money difficulties? Is it hard to keep within your income? “This thing is from Me.” For I am He who possesses all things. I wish you to draw everything from Me, and that you depend entirely upon Me. My riches are limitless (Phil 4.19). Put My promise to the test, so that it may not be said of you, “In this thing you did not believe the Lord your God” (Deut 1.32).
Are you passing through a night of affliction? “This thing is from Me.” I am the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isa 53.3). I have left you without human support that in turning to Me you might obtain eternal consolation (2 Thess 2.16-17).
Has some friend disappointed you? One to whom you had opened your heart? “This thing is from Me.” I have allowed this disappointment to come, that you may learn that the best friend is Jesus. He preserves us from falling, fights for us in our combats; yes, the best Friend is Jesus. I long to be your confidant.
Has someone said false things of you? Leave that, and come closer to Me, under My wings, away from the place of wordy dispute, for I will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday (Psalm 37.6). Have your plans been all upset? Are you crushed and weary? “This thing is from Me.” Have you made plans and then came [and] asked Me to bless them? I wish to make your plans for you. I will take the responsibility, for it is too heavy for you, you could not perform it alone (Exod 18.18). You are but an instrument and not an agent.
Have you desired fervently to do some great work for Me? Instead of that you have been laid aside, on a bed of sickness and suffering. “This thing is from Me.” I was unable to attract your attention while you were so active. I wish to teach you some of My deep lessons. It is only those who have learned to wait patiently who can serve Me. My greatest workers are sometimes those who are laid aside from active service in order that they may learn to wield the weapon of prayer.
Are you suddenly called to occupy a difficult position full of responsibilities? Go forward, counting on Me. I am giving you the position full of difficulties for the reason that Jehovah, your God, will bless you in all your works, and in all the business of your hands (Deut 15.18).
This day I place in your hand a pot of holy oil. Draw from it freely, My child, that all the circumstances arising along the pathway, each word that gives you pain, each interruption trying to your patience, each manifestation of your feebleness, may be anointed with this oil. Remember that interruptions are divine instructions. The sting will go [away] in the measure in which you see Me in all things. Therefore set your heart to all the works that I testify among you this day. For it is your life (Deut 32.46-47).