"I am a stranger with thee." --Psalm 39:12
Yes, O Lord, with Thee, but not to Thee.
All my natural alienation from Thee, Thy grace has effectually removed; and
now, in fellowship with Thyself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim
in a foreign country. Thou art a stranger in Thine own world. Man forgets Thee,
dishonours Thee, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows Thee not. When
Thy dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world,
and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. Never was foreigner so
speckled a bird among the denizens of any land as Thy beloved Son among His
mother's brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus,
should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen
where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once
bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech
seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell an outlandish tongue, my manners
are singular, and my actions are strange. A Tartar would be more at home in
Cheapside than I could ever be in the haunts of sinners. But here is the
sweetness of my lot: I am a stranger with Thee. Thou art my fellow-sufferer, my
fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns
within me by the way when thou dost speak to me, and though I be a sojourner, I
am far more blest than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than
those who dwell in their ceiled houses.
"To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none:
But with a God to guide our way,
'Tis equal joy to go or stay."