Streams in The Desert

Rehearse Your Troubles to God Only

Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions.

[Prov 10:12 NET]

Rehearse your troubles to God only. Not long ago I read in a paper a bit of personal experience from a precious child of God, and it made such an impression upon me that I record it here. She wrote:

“I found myself one midnight wholly sleepless as the surges of a cruel injustice swept over me, and the love which covers seemed to have crept out of my heart. Then I cried to God in an agony for the power to obey His injunction, ’Love covereth.’

“Immediately the Spirit began to work in me the power that brought about the forgetfulness.

“Mentally I dug a grave. Deliberately I threw up the earth until the excavation was deep.

“Sorrowfully I lowered into it the thing which wounded me. Quickly I shoveled in the clods.

“Over the mound I carefully laid the green sods. Then I covered it with white roses and forget-me-nots, and quickly walked away.

“Sweet sleep came. The wound which had been so nearly deadly was healed without a scar, and I know not today what caused my grief.”

“There was a scar on yonder mountain-side,

Gashed out where once the cruel storm had trod;

A barren, desolate chasm, reaching wide,

Across the soft green sod.

“But years crept by beneath the purple pines,

And veiled the scar with grass and moss once more,

And left it fairer now with flowers and vines

Than it had been before.

“There was a wound once in a gentle heart,

Whence all life’s sweetness seemed to ebb and die;

And love’s confiding changed to bitter smart,

While slow, sad years went by.

“Yet as they passed, unseen an angel stole

And laid a balm of healing on the pain,

Till love grew purer in the heart made whole,

And peace came back again.”

Streams in The Desert

Fluttering Spirit

Then there was a voice from above the platform over their heads when they stood still.

[Ezek 1:25 NET]

That is the letting down of the wings? People so often say, “How do you get the voice of the Lord?” Here is the secret. They heard the voice when they stood and let down their wings.

We have seen a bird with fluttering wings; though standing still, its wings are fluttering. But here we are told they heard the voice when they stood and had let down their wings.

Do we not sometimes kneel or sit before the Lord and yet feel conscious of a fluttering of our spirits? Not a real stillness in His presence.

A dear one told me several days ago of a certain thing she prayed about, “But,” said she, “I did not wait until the answer came.”

She did not get still enough to hear Him speak, but went away and followed her own thought in the matter. And the result proved disastrous and she had to retrace her steps.

Oh, how much energy is wasted! How much time is lost by not letting down the wings of our spirit and getting very quiet before Him! Oh, the calm, the rest, the peace which come as we wait In His presence until we hear from Him!

Then, ah then, we can go like lightning, and turn not as we go but go straight forward whithersoever the Spirit goes. (Ezek. 1:1, 20)

“Be still! Just now be still!

Something thy soul hath never heard,

Something unknown to any song of bird,

Something unknown to any wind, or wave, or star,

A message from the Fatherland afar,

That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill,

Cometh to thee if thou canst but be still.

“Be still! Just now be still!

There comes a presence very mild and sweet;

White are the sandals of His noiseless feet.

It is the Comforter whom Jesus sent

To teach thee what the words He uttered meant.

The willing, waiting spirit, He doth fill.

If thou would’st hear His message,

Dear soul, be still!”

Streams in The Desert

It’s Raining Blessing

He named the second child Ephraim, saying, “Certainly God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

[Gen 41:52 NET]

The summer showers are falling. The poet stands by the window watching them. They are beating and buffeting the earth with their fierce downpour. But the poet sees in his imaginings more than the showers which are falling before his eyes. He sees myriads of lovely flowers which shall be soon breaking forth from the watered earth, filling it with matchless beauty and fragrance. And so he sings:

“It isn’t raining rain for me, it’s raining daffodils;

In every dimpling drop I see wild flowers upon the hills.

A cloud of gray engulfs the day, and overwhelms the town;

It isn’t raining rain for me: it’s raining roses down.”

Perchance some one of God’s chastened children is even now saying, “O God, it is raining hard for me tonight.

“Testings are raining upon me which seem beyond my power to endure. Disappointments are raining fast, to the utter defeat of all my chosen plans. Bereavements are raining into my life which are making my shrinking heart quiver in its intensity of suffering. The rain of affliction is surely beating down upon my soul these days.”

Withal, friend, you are mistaken. It isn’t raining rain for you. It’s raining blessing. For, if you will but believe your Father’s Word, under that beating rain are springing up spiritual flowers of such fragrance and beauty as never before grew in that stormless, unchastened life of yours.

You indeed see the rain. But do you see also the flowers? You are pained by the testings. But God sees the sweet flower of faith which is upspringing in your life under those very trials.

You shrink from the suffering. But God sees the tender compassion for other sufferers which is finding birth in your soul.

Your heart winces under the sore bereavement. But God sees the deepening and enriching which that sorrow has brought to you.

It isn’t raining afflictions for you. It is raining tenderness, love, compassion, patience, and a thousand other flowers and fruits of the blessed Spirit, which are bringing into your life such a spiritual enrichment as all the fullness of worldly prosperity and ease was never able to beget in your innermost soul.

~ J. M. McC ~

SONGS ACROSS THE STORM

“A harp stood in the moveless air,

Where showers of sunshine washed a thousand fragrant blooms;

A traveler bowed with loads of care

Essayed from morning till the dusk of evening glooms

To thrum sweet sounds from the songless strings;

The pilgrim strives in vain with each unanswering chord,

Until the tempest’s thunder sings,

And, moving on the storm, the fingers of the Lord

A wondrous melody awakes;

And though the battling winds their soldier deeds perform,

Their trumpet-sound brave music makes

While God’s assuring voice sings love across the storm”

Streams in The Desert

Sweetness of the Storm

For you were made rich in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge

[1 Cor 1:5 NET]

Have you ever seen men and women whom some disaster drove to a great act of prayer, and by and by the disaster was forgotten, but the sweetness of religion remained and warmed their souls?

So have I seen a storm in later spring; and all was black, save where the lightning tore the cloud with thundering rent.

The winds blew and the rains fell, as though heaven had opened its windows. What a devastation there was! Not a spider’s web that was out of doors escaped the storm, which tore up even the strong-branched oak.

But ere long the lightning had gone by, the thunder was spent and silent, the rain was over, the western wind came up with its sweet breath, the clouds were chased away, and the retreating storm threw a scarf of rainbows over her fair shoulders and resplendent neck, and looked back and smiled, and so withdrew and passed out of sight.

But for weeks long the fields held up their bands full of ambrosial flowers, and all the summer through the grass was greener, the brooks were fuller, and the trees cast a more umbrageous shade, because the storm passed by—though all the rest of the earth had long ago forgotten the storm, its rainbows and its rain.

~ Theodore Parker ~

God may not give us an easy journey to the Promised Land, but He will give us a safe one.

~ Bonar ~

It was a storm that occasioned the discovery of the gold mines of India. Hath not a storm driven some to the discovery of the richer mines of the love of God in Christ?

Is it raining, little flower?

Be glad of rain;

Too much sun would wither thee;

’Twill shine again.

The clouds are very black, ’tis true;

But just behind them shines the blue.

Art thou weary, tender heart?

Be glad of pain:

In sorrow sweetest virtues grow,

As flowers in rain.

God watches, and thou wilt have sun,

When clouds their perfect work have done.

~ Lucy Larcom ~

Streams in The Desert

Faith Can Change Any Situation

because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.

[1 John 5:4 NET]

At every turn in the road one can find something that will rob him of his victory and peace of mind, if he permits it. Satan is a long way from having retired from the business of deluding and ruining God’s children if he can. At every milestone it is well to look carefully to the thermometer of one’s experience, to see whether the temperature is well up.

Sometimes a person can, if he will, actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat, if he will resolutely put his faith up at just the right moment.

Faith can change any situation. No matter how dark it is, no matter what the trouble may be, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual faith in Him, will alter the situation in a moment.

God is still on His throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a second of time, if we really trust Him.

“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;

Faith can victor be in every trying hour;

Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated

By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.

“Have faith in God, the sun will shine,

Though dark the clouds may be today;

His heart has planned your path and mine,

Have faith in God, have faith alway.”

“When one has faith, one does not retire; one stops the enemy where he finds him.” ~ Marshal Foch ~

Streams in The Desert

Why Dost Thou Worry Thyself?

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.

[Exod 14:15 NET]

In the past he said to them, “This is where security can be found. Provide security for the one who is exhausted! This is where rest can be found.” But they refused to listen.

[Isa 28:12 NET]

Why dost thou worry thyself? What use can thy fretting serve? Thou art on board a vessel which thou couldst not steer even if the great Captain put thee at the helm, of which thou couldst not so much as reef a sail, yet thou worriest as if thou wert captain and helmsman. Oh, be quiet; God is Master!

Dost thou think that all this din and hurly-burly that is abroad betokens that God has left His throne?

No, man, His coursers rush furiously on, and His chariot is the storm; but there is a bit between their jaws, and He holds the reins, and guides them as He wills! Jehovah is Master yet; believe it; peace be unto thee! be not afraid.

~ C. H. Spurgeon ~

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

The storms are raging on God’s deep

God’s deep, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s hands shall still the tempter’s sweep

God’s hands, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s love is strong while night hours creep

God’s love, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s heaven will comfort those who weep

God’s heaven, not thine; be still and sleep.”

I entreat you, give no place to despondency. This is a dangerous temptation—a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary. Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace. It magnifies and gives a false coloring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear. God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise.

~ Madame Guyon ~

Streams in The Desert

Praise in Advance

Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well, sing to it!

[Num 21:17 NET]

This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert’s barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:

“Gather the people together, and I will give them water,” and this is how it came.

They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,

“Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it,” and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.

How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.

How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.

Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come?

~ Selected ~

“Thou waitest for deliverance!

O soul, thou waitest long!

Believe that now deliverance

Doth wait for thee in song!

“Sigh not until deliverance

Thy fettered feet doth free:

With songs of glad deliverance

God now doth compass thee.”