Resting on the Rock

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Perhaps there are few seasons more profitable to the Christian than those which are spent in the chambers of the departing, particularly of those who go hence to be with Christ. Both visitor and visited are often alike consoled by the intercourse that takes place on such occasions; and even where there are circumstances to sadden, the heart is taught to acknowledge the truth of the saying, that "sorrow is better than laughter" -the house of mourning more salutary than the house of mirth (Eccles. 7). I have been led to this reflection by the recollection of one or two interviews with Hannah B not long before her entrance into the rest that remains to the people of God (Heb. 4). Her brief history was related to me by a Christian lady, in whose household she once lived as a domestic servant. The way of salvation had often been set before her; but although convinced of the importance of the subject, she was unwilling to yield herself to Him who alone is able to save the lost, until it became evident to her that she was the subject of an incurable disease. Then, indeed, she turned in earnest to the Lord; and He, who is full of compassion and mercy, even to the most reluctant, did not "cast" her out (John 6:3737All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)), but pardoned and accepted her in the riches of His grace. It was after this important change that I heard of her desire to see me, and the first occasion of visiting her convinced me that the work in her soul was of the Holy Spirit. The serenity with which she spoke of Jesus as her peace, and all her peace, left no room for doubt as to this; and though she said but little, in consequence of the weakness of her frame, that little left the full impression that it was "well" with her for time and for eternity.
Not many days elapsed before I saw her again. I shall not soon forget the words with which she greeted me. "O Mr. -, I have been quite wishing to see you. I am so happy, resting on the Rock which can never be moved." She said this with a bright smile on her countenance, which witnessed, even more than words could, to the joy she felt within. "It is grace," she added, "all grace. I seem as if I could go round and tell all that I am a sinner saved by grace." Thus she went on, rejoicing in the Lord, so that I felt there was only room for thanksgiving. Prayer seemed out of place—she possessed already everything we could have asked.
The next time I looked in upon her, she was much weaker in body, but resting still in Jesus. I reminded her of Heb. 13:88Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8): "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever." "Yes," she remarked, "we change, but He never does."
I asked her if she had found any change since my last visit—anything like conflict. She replied, "Yesterday I had a little cloud; but I resisted it, and it passed"; and then added, "0 if we walked more with Him in life, how much happier we should be!" Allusion having been made to the Lord's faithfulness, she said, "Yes, I do not for a moment fear that He will leave me now; but what a mercy for us that He is so patient with us!" She spoke of His chastenings not being in anger toward her, and I repeated 2 Cor. 4:1717For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17): "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." "Yes," was her reply, "He bears me through the very little suffering I have to endure—little indeed compared with what He has endured for me." She then alluded to her past life, saying, "I have had many convictions-many loud knocks- have been raised from many beds of sickness; but I was never converted then; I never experienced the change I do now. We must be converted." "Yes," I said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:33Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)). "You are born again, dear Hannah, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, of the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever." She seemed to feed upon the Scriptures with great delight, and her views of truth were particularly clear and sound. She knew that to be once in Christ was to be ever in Christ, and this gave solid comfort to her soul. I read to her Heb. 6:13-2013For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 6:13‑20), and prayed for a few minutes, after which she said, "How comforting! This is meat to my soul."
She spoke with great calmness of her approaching departure, and of the blessedness of realizing the Lord's presence at such a time. And surely it is blessed, in circumstances like hers, to be able to say with one of old, "I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." This was my last interview with her on earth; for not long afterward, calling at the cottage to inquire for her, I was told that she had fallen asleep.