One is this: that you cannot settle that matter when the storm breaks.
If you have ever been in a really good storm you know very well that that is not the time to get things settled.
If you have not got them settled before then, you are just going to be all at sea indeed.
The forces will be far too much to cope with. You will just be thrown all over the place.
An emergency is not the time to get quietly down to our foundations, for we are too much caught up in things.
If it is not all settled beforehand, if you do not know where you are beforehand, you will not be able to see to it when this thing breaks.
It is important to recognize that.
Therefore this Letter would say: 'In the light of testings which will come, in view of that which is bound to break upon us at some time, now is the time to make sure that our position is an absolutely sound one, an absolutely true one, and that there is nothing doubtful about our position at all, no question about it and we know where we are, that we are not at the mercy of other people's judgments and ideas.
We know the Lord for ourselves. We know where we are.
Let everything go to pieces! We know where we are with the Lord.'
That is the thing that has to be settled, and it cannot be settled when everything is going to pieces.
The other thing that is important is that we should recognize that it may not be necessary for the great ultimate upheaval and chaos and cataclysm to take place in order to bring that issue out.
Is not this the heart of every trial that comes into the Christian life?
Any day there can come a temptation, or an adversity, some suffering, or some thing that is just calculated to throw you all over the place.
In any such experience the question arises: What have I got of the Lord that is going to get me through this?
What have I really got now of the Lord that will stand me in stead in this crisis?
It may be something in everyday life, a family matter, a business matter, a church matter, or a personal matter, but it is something that is most testing, unsettling, upsetting.
It comes like a shock or a blow and could knock us to pieces.
What have we got of the Lord which will see us through and will not go with the wind, will not be carried away in this hour of trial, but will stand and remain?
That is the issue of this Letter, whether it is a historic crisis in the life of Israel, or Jewry, or in the ultimate experience of the Church.
It is coming, and has already come to multitudes of people on this earth.
It is the position today in a large part of the world, where the test is: What have we got that will see us through this terrible time?
It is a question for many in the East today, but it is the ever-present question.
~T. Austin Sparks~