In transit

I have always liked libraries.  Our weekly visits as children were treats to which I really looked forward.  I remember spending time in one school holiday organising all my books according to some system or other – that was before I encountered the beauty of the Dewey System!  I had a Saturday job in the local library, and somehow, whatever school I was teaching in, I found myself looking after or helping in the library.  So it’s not surprising that I now enjoy volunteering in a couple of nearby libraries.

On Tuesday I spent a happy hour or so sorting all the fiction books on two spinners into alphabetical order.  Am I obsessive?  No, I don’t think so.  “God is not the author of confusion but of peace… Let all things be done decently and in order,” says the Apostle Paul.  I know he was really writing about order and structure in public worship, but I think the principle can still be applied to our lives - ‘Let our ordered lives confess/ The beauty of Thy peace.’

Actually, of course, having books in the correct order makes it easier to find one when it’s required.  Every so often, the library receives a list of books which need to be found for some reason – old ones being withdrawn, perhaps, or books to be sent to other libraries to keep the stock circulating round the county.  They all have to be looked for, found, labelled with their destination, and sent off.  Every day the computer brings up a list of books specifically requested by readers in other parts of the county.  For these there is one extra action required; the ‘transit’ button has to be clicked so that the reader can know that the book is on its way.

It occurs to me that I am like a requested book.

I have been requested:     Father, I will that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  (John 17:24)

I have been looked for:    For thus says the Lord God: ”Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.”  (Ezekiel 34:11)

I have been found:          “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  (Luke 15:24)

I have been labelled:        Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.  (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

I am in transit:                Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.  You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.  (Psalm 73:23-24)

In the world of books and libraries, books may go astray or get lost, but not so with the believer in the Lord Jesus:   And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are one.  (John 10:28-30)

Are you in transit?

I have a Friend whose faithful love

Is more than all the world to me,

‘Tis higher than the heights above,

And deeper than the soundless sea;

So old, so new, so strong, so true;

Before the earth received its frame,

He loved me— Blessèd be His Name!

 

He held the highest place above,

Adored by all the sons of flame,

Yet, such His self-denying love,

He laid aside His crown and came

To seek the lost, and, at the cost

Of heavenly rank and earthly fame,

He sought me— Blessèd be His Name!

 

It was a lonely path He trod,

From every human soul apart,

Known only to Himself and God

Was all the grief that filled His heart:

Yet from the track He turned not back

Till where I lay in want and shame

He found me— Blessèd be His Name!

 

Then dawned at last that day of dread

When, desolate but undismayed,

With wearied frame and thorn-crowned head

He, now forsaken and betrayed,

Went up for me to Calvary,

And dying there in grief and shame

He saved me— Blessèd be His Name!

 

Long as I live my song shall tell

The wonders of His matchless love:

And when at last I rise to dwell

In the bright home prepared above,

My joy shall be His face to see,

And bowing then with loud acclaim

I’ll praise Him— Blessèd be His Name!

 -C A Tydeman