"...a calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the concerns of this world; and sometimes a kind of vision, or fixed ideas and imaginations, of being alone in the mountains or some solitary wilderness, far from all mankind, sweetly conversing with Christ and wrapped and swallowed up in God."
Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Jonathan Edwards grew up in a highly religious environment. The son of a minister and grandson of another, his home held an air of religious fervor and serious study. However, not until the end of his college years did he experience a new life in Christ.
When I read the above excerpt from his diary I immediately related. When I look over the storms of my life, I found the same sweet abstraction in my times alone with God. This is the beauty, the "mystic rapture" of an intimate relationship with my Saviour. It isn't something man can understand. You can't dissect it and devise a scientific formula to conjure up the experience.
The "calm, sweet abstraction of soul" belongs to those who experience new life in Christ. When we, as born again believers, turn our imaginations from the world to Christ, we find ourselves engulfed with His love and "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."
I run to this place each morning, before the sun's rays hit my house. There I open my Bible, close my eyes in prayer and focus on my Lord Jesus Christ. He meets me. I thank Him for the blessings He's given me and rejoice over His grace and mercy extended to me. I let my spirit fill with the knowledge of His love and my ever-increasing understanding of who He is. He talks to me through His Word and His Holy Spirit, blessing me with His wisdom and insight into my life and the trials I face, and He lets me know He, in His Sovereign Grace, will be with me through the day, fighting my battles for me, clearing the way for me to serve Him.
We dance, Him and I. No. Not likely do I get up and dance across the floor. I may wake up the household doing that. Our dance is the harmony that comes when I completely submit my will and my desires to Him. The dance is sweet, graceful, more beautiful than any other. It warms me with His love. It comforts me with His affection. It fills me with the knowledge that I am His and He is mine.
Yes, I agree with Jonathan Edwards. The new life I have found in Christ enables me to experience the "calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the concerns of this world" and to enjoy "sweetly conversing with Christ and wrapped and swallowed up in God."
Have you experienced the same?