“Is there no way of escape for us when in trouble or distress? Must we just plod wearily through it all, or look for no relief? I rejoice to answer that there is a glorious way of escape for every one of us, if we will but mount up on wings, and fly away from it all to God. All creatures that have wings can escape from every snare that is set for them, if only they will fly high enough; and the soul that uses its wings can always find a sure ‘way to escape’ from all that can hurt or trouble it. What then are these wings? Their secret is contained in the words ‘They that wait upon the Lord.’ The soul that waits upon the Lord is the soul that is entirely surrendered to Him, and that trusts Him perfectly. Therefore we might name our wings the wings of Surrender and Trust. If we will only surrender ourselves utterly to the Lord, and will trust Him perfectly, we shall find our souls ‘mounting up with wings as eagles; to the ‘heavenly places’ in Christ Jesus where earthly annoyances or sorrow have no power to disturb us.”
by Hannah Whitall Smith
Hannah Whitall Smith((February 7, 1832 – May 1, 1911) was a lay speaker and author in the Holiness movement. She and her husband were descended from prominent quakers. This quote, which is from my daily devotional is based upon these two verses:
“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest!” Psalm 55:6
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Isaiah: 40:31
For more of Hannah’s quotes see these posts:
Are You a Spiritual Person?
The Great Pope, Self
What Does Piety Look Like #2
“Anything allowed in the heart which is contrary to the will of God, let it seem ever so insignificant, or be it ever so deeply hidden, will cause us to fall before our enemies. Any root of bitterness cherished toward another, any self-seeking, any harsh judgments indulged in, any slackness in obeying the voice of the Lord, any doubtful habits or surroundings, any one of these things will effectively cripple and paralyze our spiritual life. I believe our blessed Guide, the indwelling Holy Spirit, is always secretly discovering these things to us by continual little twinges and pangs of conscience, so that we are left without excuse.
Hannah Whitall Smith
This quote was found in my daily devotional. Hannah Whitall Smith was originally a Quaker, and was influenced heavily by the Holiness Movement in the United States. This movement believed that complete sanctification was possible (Lutheran doctrine denies this idea). She was an author, evangelist and speaker, and is well known for her book, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. For other quotes see these posts:
How to Recognize a Christian
Years ago I found this description of what piety looks like in a book called The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith. Hannah was raised as a Quaker and was later influenced by the Holiness movement (John Wesley, founder of the Methodists). I don’t know all there is to know about Hannah’s theological beliefs, so I can’t recommend all of her writings, but I find her comments below helpful in defining what it means to be authentically pious.
“When a consecrated believer follows the Lord faithfully several evidences appear sooner or later. Meekness and quietness of spirit become, in time, the characteristics of daily life. Other outward signs are:
Grateful acceptance of the will of God as it comes in the hourly events of each day
Pliability in the hands of God to do or bear whatever He assigns
A sweet disposition, even under provocation
Calmness in the midst of turmoil and confusion
Willingness to let others have their way
Refusal to notice slights and affronts
Absence of worry, anxiety and fear
Sometimes I read through these qualities as a way to examine my conscience, in other words to measure my own progress in piety. Knowing our weaknesses is the starting point for change. I admit to having trouble with all of these, but find #3 and #7 particularly difficult. You may fall short in different areas. I notice that although these attributes are manifested outwardly, they all spring from an inner desire to trust and obey God, and they’re not easy to fake. It’s not about following the rules, it’s about following Jesus.
Do you find Hannah’s list thought provoking? How might you use it? Let the Lutheran Ladies know what you think.