HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“ Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.” (1 Kings 17:3).
God’s servants must be taught the value of the hidden life. The man who is to take a high place before his fellows must take a low place before his God. We must not be surprised if sometimes our Father says: “There, child, thou hast had enough of this hurry, and publicity, and excitement; get thee hence, and hide thyself by the brook–hide thyself in the Cherith of the sick chamber, or in the Cherith of bereavement, or in some solitude from which the crowds have ebbed away.”
Happy is he who can reply, “This Thy will is also mine; I flee unto Thee to hide me. Hide me in the secret of Thy tabernacle, and beneath the covert of Thy wings!”
Every saintly soul that would wield great power with men must win it in some hidden Cherith. The acquisition of spiritual power is impossible unless we can hide from men and from ourselves in some deep gorge where we may absorb the power of the eternal God; as vegetation through long ages absorbed these qualities of sunshine, which it now gives back through burning coal.
Bishop Hamilton had his Cherith, in which he spent five hours every day in prayer and devotion. John Welsh had it–who thought the day ill spent which did not witness eight or ten hours of closet communion. Conrad had it in the Secret Chamber. Patriarch Granville Williams had it in his long and lonely journeys amid the dominant society in Barbados.
Or, passing back to the blessed age from which we date the centuries: Patmos, the seclusion of the Roman prisons, the Arabian desert, the hills and vales of Palestine, are forever memorable as the Cheriths of those who have made our modern world.
Our Lord found His Cherith at Nazareth, and in the wilderness of Judea; amid the olives of Bethany, and the solitude of Gadara. None of us, therefore, can dispense with some Cherith where the sounds of human voices are exchanged for the waters of quietness which are fed from the throne; and where we may taste the sweets and imbibe the power of a life hidden with Christ.
So many others have found their Cherith in different circumstances, some in the Inner Court, some through trials and testings, some in their communities and others in the assembly where they worship. Have you made it out trusting God and Him alone? Have you learned from the experience? If we listen to the voice of God and follow the precepts set we will come out better men an women to face a new day. May God have His own way in our hearts and lives.