Streams in The Desert

Eternal Glory Struggles

I endure all things for the sake of God’s own people; so that they also may obtain salvation…and with it eternal glory

~ 2 Tim 2:10

If Job could have known as he sat there in the ashes, bruising his heart on this problem of Providence that in the trouble that had come upon him he was doing what one man may do to work out the problem for the world, he might again have taken courage. No man lives to himself. Job’s life is but your life and mine written in larger text….So, then, though we may not know what trials wait on any of us, we can believe that, as the days in which Job wrestled with his dark maladies are the only days that make him worth remembrance, and but for which his name had never been written in the book of life, so the days through which we struggle, finding no way, but never losing the light, will be the most significant we are called to live.

~ Robert Collyer

Who does not know that our most sorrowful days have been amongst our best? When the face is wreathed in smiles and we trip lightly over meadows bespangled with spring flowers, the heart is often running to waste.

The soul which is always blithe and gay misses the deepest life. It has its reward, and it is satisfied to its measure, though that measure is a very scanty one. But the heart is dwarfed; and the nature, which is capable of the highest heights, the deepest depths, is undeveloped; and life presently burns down to its socket without having known the resonance of the deepest chords of joy.

“Blessed are they that mourn.” Stars shine brightest in the long dark night of winter. The gentians show their fairest bloom amid almost inaccessible heights of snow and ice.

God’s promises seem to wait for the pressure of pain to trample out their richest juice as in a wine-press. Only those who have sorrowed know how tender is the “Man of Sorrows.”

~ Selected

Thou hast but little sunshine, but thy long glooms are wisely appointed thee; for perhaps a stretch of summer weather would have made thee as a parched land and barren wilderness. Thy Lord knows best, and He has the clouds and the sun at His disposal. 

~ Selected

“It is a gray day.” “Yes, but dinna ye see the patch of blue?”

~ Scotch Shoemaker

Daily Prayer Guide

They help every one his neighbor; and every one saith to his brother, Be of good courage.
~ Isa 41:6

Who cares for the burden, the night, and the rain,  
And the long, steep, lonesome road,  
When at last through the darkness a light shines plain,  
When a voice calls “Hail,” and a friend draws rein,  
With an arm for the stubborn load?  
  
For life is the chance of a friend or two  
This side of the journey’s goal.  
Though the world be a desert the long night through,  
Yet the gay flowers bloom and the sky shows blue  
When a soul salutes a soul.
 Unknown

In all misfortune the greatest consolation is a sympathizing friend.
– Cervantes

Prayer

Loving Father, may I lay hold upon the highest standards of friendship and so be qualified to be a friend. May those who call and lean on me feel secure in my support. May none ever be ashamed to call me friend. Grant that those whom I love may keep faith with me. Amen.

Daily Prayer Guide

Be urgent in season, out of season.
~ 2 Tim 4:2

Favored of Heaven! O Genius! are they thine,  
When round thy brow the wreaths of glory shine;  
While rapture gazes on thy radiant way,  
’Midst the bright realms of clear mental day?  
No! sacred joys! ’tis yours to dwell enshrined,  
Most fondly cherished, in the purest mind.
~ Felicia Hemans

Genius is intensity.
~ Honore Balzac

But what if I fail of my purpose here?  
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,  
To dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall,  
And, baffled, get up and begin again—  
So the chase takes up one’s life, that’s all.
~ Robert Browning

Prayer

My Lord, my life makes me conscious of weakness, and my memory brings regret; forgive me for the lost strength I neglected to develop. In thy compassion encourage me to be more watchful of my power, that I may usefully increase it, and not willfully deplete it. May I learn the need of constancy in well-doing. Amen.

Daily Prayer Guide

That their hearts might be comforted, they being knit together in love.
~ Col 2:2

Have love! not love alone for one,  
But man as man thy brother call:  
And scatter like the circling sun  
Thy charities on all.
~ Johann Schiller

He spoke, and words more soft than rain  
Brought the Age of Gold again:  
His action won such reverence sweet,  
As hid all measure of the feat.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gracious Lord, I pray that I may not only be known to those who are my own, but may I consider all mankind. May those who need me find me through my gentleness, and may they be assured by quiet confidence and faith. Amen.

Daily Prayer Guide

All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness.
~ Heb 12:11

Never yet was a springtime,  
Late though lingered the snow,  
That the sap stirred not at the whisper  
Of the south wind, sweet and low;  
Never yet was a springtime  
When the buds forgot to blow.  
  
Ever the wings of the summer  
Are folded under the mold;  
Life that has known no dying,  
Is Love’s, to have and to hold,  
Till, sudden, the burgeoning Easter!  
The song! the green and the gold!
~ Margaret E. Sangster

In tracing the shade, I shall find out the sun.
~ Owen Meredith

Prayer

Almighty God, grant that as the fulfillment of the green comes to the withered grass, so thy restoring may come to me with the glory of life that comes in the resurrection of the soul. I trust thee to bring me out of winter’s seal, that I may help make the spring. Amen.

Daily Prayer Guide

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. 
~ 1 Cor 12:4-6

How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the life of man! and by what secret different springs are the affections hurried about, as different circumstances present! To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear; nay, even tremble at the apprehension of.
~ Daniel Defoe

Now don’t do nothin’ which isn’t your Fort, for ef you do you’ll find yourself splashin’ round in the Kanawl, figgeratively speakin’.
~ Artemus Ward

Daily Prayer Guide

Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way.

~ Ps 37:7

My crown is in my heart, not on my head:  
Not decked with diamonds and Indian Stones,  
Nor to be seen. My crown is called content.  
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
~ William Shakespeare

At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky  
And flinging the clouds and the towers by  
Is a place of central calm:  
So here in the roar of mortal things,  
I have a place where my spirit sings,  
In the hollow of God’s Palm.
~ Edwin Markham

Prayer

Almighty God, my heart beats quicker and the desire for thy care grows stronger when I remember thy promises are given for all eternity. May I be grateful and contented with thy love and care. Amen.