Streams in The Desert

Let us run with patience

~ Heb 12:1

To run with patience is a very difficult thing. Running is apt to suggest the absence of patience, the eagerness to reach the goal. We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet, I do not think the invalid’s patience the hardest to achieve.

There is a patience which I believe to be harder—the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: It is the power to work under a stroke; to have a great weight at your heart and still to run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily task. It is a Christlike thing!

Many of us would nurse our grief without crying if we were allowed to nurse it. The hard thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in bed, but in the street. We are called to bury our sorrows, not in lethargic quiescence, but in active service—in the exchange, in the workshop, in the hour of social intercourse, in the contribution to another’s joy. There is no burial of sorrow so difficult as that; it is the “running with patience.”

This was Thy patience, O Son of man! It was at once a waiting and a running—a waiting for the goal, and a doing of the lesser work meantime. I see Thee at Cana turning the water into wine lest the marriage feast should be clouded. I see Thee in the desert feeding a multitude with bread just to relieve a temporary want. All, all the time, Thou wert bearing a mighty grief, unshared, unspoken. Men ask for a rainbow in the cloud; but I would ask more from Thee. I would be, in my cloud, myself a rainbow—a minister to others’ joy. My patience will be perfect when it can work in the vineyard.

~ George Matheson

“When all our hopes are gone,

’Tis well our hands must keep toiling on

For others’ sake:

For strength to bear is found in duty done;

And he is best indeed who learns to make

The joy of others cure his own heartache.”

Quiet Time

Flee into Egypt. ~ Matt 2:13

Why? Because there is a cruel king who will seek the young child’s life.

Is Christ born in thee? Is thy life like that manger precious as a casket, because of what it holds? Then have a care; for, craftier and more unscrupulous than Herod, the destroyer of souls will seek to destroy thee.

There is a day coming when they shall say, “They are dead which sought the young child’s life.” Grace shall survive the foe, and we shall yet return to enjoy the comforts of life, with no Herod to threaten us. After all, it is sin which is short–lived, for goodness shall flourish when the evil one is chained up for ever.

~ Thos. Champness

Eternal Perspectives

Why does God go to all the trouble to dirty his hands, as it were, with our decaying, sin-stained flesh, in order to reestablish it as a resurrection body and clothe it with immortality? . . . Because his Son paid the price of death so that the Father’s purpose for the material universe would be fulfilled, namely, that he would be glorified in it, including in our bodies forever and ever.
~ John Piper, [“What Happens When You Die?”]

Resurrected bodies are not intended just to float in space, or to flit from cloud to cloud. They call for a new earth on which to live and to work, glorifying God. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body, in fact, makes no sense whatever apart from the doctrine of the new earth.
~ Anthony Hoekema, [“Heaven: Not Just an Eternal Day Off”]

Daily Prayer Guide

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor.

~ Ps 8:4-5

Do good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good. If thou wouldst be happy, bring thy mind to thy condition, and have an indifferency for more than what is sufficient.

~ William Penn

The finest fruit earth holds up to its Maker is a finished man.

~ Humboldt

I considered Napoleon’s presence in the field equal to forty men in the balance.

~ Duke of Wellington

Eternal God, may I know the value of the gift of life. May I think seriously of it, and not through abuse or neglect cripple it, remembering that it is mine to sow, to grow, and to reap. I pray that I may care more for the food and raiment of my soul than I care for the food and raiment of my body. Amen.