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THE WILDERNESS PATH
Beside me walks—O hallowed thought!—
The Maker of the Universe,
The God and King of Heaven and Earth—
My Father! Tenderly he leads
My stumbling steps. I hear rare words
Of wisdom, warnings of the snares
On right and left; encouragement
To overcome the obstacles
Which here and there obstruct my way.
And as he brings before mine eyes
Grand visions of the glory bright
Awaiting (if I hold in him
My confidence firm to the end,
Inspiring me with promises
Of grace abundant for each need)
I oft forget the landscape drear,
And dangers imminent, and walk
In ecstasies of light and hope.
Now brightly shines upon my path
The glorious sun! The air is fresh
And sweet, and hopes run high of what
I shall accomplish for my Lord.
The melody within my heart
Has tuned my lips; and songs of praise
And gladness tell the peace and joy
Which they alone can feel who know
The secret of his will, and walk
In child-like trustfulness therein.
And still, when chilling mists enshroud,
And storms my wondering faith appal,
I know that he is nigh and will
Preserve my steps. Why should I fear
As landmark after landmark fades
To shadow, and I find myself
Alone with him who knows them all?
Can I but wait with shoulders bent
And visage set, until he calm
The tempest, and the way be cleared?
Then, stronger for the test endured,
Shall I by his unchanging grace
The paths of peace again pursue.
O Lord, how precious is this walk
With thee! Nor height, nor depth, nor length,
Nor breadth, nor creatures near or far,
Can separate thy child from thee.
Strong in thy strength, I tread
On scorpions, quench the adder’s fang,
The roaring lion subjugate,—
E’en tempting angels, clothed in light,
And powerless to work their charm,
Since Christ in me doth conquer all.
Lord, hear my prayer, and ever keep
In me this constancy of faith.
—R. B. Henninges.
— April 15, 1907 —