The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

The blind led by a way they know not

To Mrs. H., July 16, 1852.

"I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them, and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16

"And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town," and when away from all, He gave him sight in a most gradual and sovereign manner, see Mark 8:23-25. The blind man could not see where Jesus was leading him; he must confide entirely in Him; neither could he know why He should lead him along in darkness, when he had asked to be restored to sight. If he reasoned, the thought would be, "Why not give it me at once?" But "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord." Deliverance seldom comes in the way we look for it; for "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave Him His counsel? Who did He consult with? Who gave Him understanding and taught Him the paths of justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding?" Isaiah 40:12-14

Ah, my dear Amelia, has not the Lord frustrated our purposes over and over again? I cannot tell you with what majesty that last-quoted passage has often come to my mind, with v. 14, "Who gave Him His counsel?" Not with puny, sinful worms. He will counsel for them—but not with them: "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." Yet "fear not, worm Jacob, I will help you,"—help you to stand still and see My salvation, or help you to walk on in the dark in a rough and unknown path, just as My wisdom sees fit. Spiritual eyesight is not given to look at the outward path—but to look at our Guide; not to look before us at the way we are going to travel—but to look only at Him who will guide us safely through all, who will Himself be our way in the way—but not our way out of it. Oh, to be kept abiding in Him, and constantly looking unto Him! It is most safe and blessed—but very contrary to flesh and blood.

"This is what the Lord says--Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives." Jeremiah 17:5-10

How I do like this passage--it is so descriptive of the blessedness of trusting in the Lord alone, and the sterility and disappointment of all creature confidence. I know not your present difficulties, nor need I know them, for I could not bring you out of them. But I do bless the Lord He has brought you into the very best posture of soul—looking to Him alone. Tell your sorrows and secrets to this your Friend, watch His eye, obey His bidding, and go not to carnal and lower means for relief.

You will find it turn to good account, if you are helped to wait it out and watch it out, not as carnal Saul, to wait until a set time, and then if relief tarries--to endeavor to extricate yourself. (1 Sam. 13:8, 15) I write the things that I do know, my loved Amelia, having at some times smarted for the haste of the flesh, and at others inherited great blessing by waiting for the Lord, even in very trying circumstances and amidst many counter voices; but "in keeping of His commandments there is great reward."

Adieu in our heavenly Bridegroom, and in His undying love,