"I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." --Acts 27:25
I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, "The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said,
"Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon." "It is impossible," I said. "Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray."
I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. "Mr. Mueller," I said, "do you know how dense this fog is?" "No," he replied, "my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life."
He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. "First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it."
I looked at him, and he said, "Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone." I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.--Selected"If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine,
In the sweetness of our Lord." • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Art from here
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. —ROM. 10:13.
Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.—Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.—What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. If ye . . . being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?—I will put my Spirit within you. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of. This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.John 6:37. -Luke 23:42,43. -Matt. 20:32-34.Luke 11:13. -Eze. 6:27,37, 37. I John 5:1415. • Reading from Daily Light on the Daily Path - Samuel Bagster (downloadable)
• Art by Sergey Volkov at ArtNow.ru
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God." --Eph. 5:20
No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.
We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing,"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below."
There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony. Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work! --C. H. P."Would we know that the major chords were sweet,
If there were no minor key?
Would the painter's work be fair to our eyes,
Without shade on land or sea?
"Would we know the meaning of happiness,
Would we feel that the day was bright,
If we'd never known what it was to grieve,
Nor gazed on the dark of night?"
Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties. --C. H. Spurgeon
When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ, the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the instrument he must touch them all. --Selected • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image from here
"Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." --Heb. 4:14,16
Our great Helper in prayer is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Advocate with the Father, our Great High Priest, whose chief ministry for us these centuries has been intercession and prayer. He it is
who takes our imperfect petitions from our hands, cleanses them from their defects, corrects their faults, and then claims their answer from His Father on His own account and through His all-atoning merits and righteousness.
Brother, are you fainting in prayer? Look up. Your blessed Advocate has already claimed your answer, and you would grieve and disappoint Him if you were to give up the conflict in the very moment when victory is on its way to meet you. He has gone in for you into the inner chamber, and already holds up your name upon the palms of His hands; and the messenger, which is to bring you your blessing, is now on his way, and the Spirit is only waiting your trust to whisper in your heart the echo of the answer from the throne, "It is done." --A. B. Simpson
The Spirit has much to do with acceptable prayer, and His work in prayer is too much neglected. He enlightens the mind to see its wants, softens the heart to feel them, quickens our desires after suitable supplies, gives clear views of God's power, wisdom, and grace to relieve us, and stirs up that confidence in His truth which excludes all wavering. Prayer is, therefore, a wonderful thing. In every acceptable prayer the whole Trinity is concerned. --J. Angell James • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image from pixeam.wordpress.com
"He hath made me a polished shaft" --Isa. 49:2
There is a very famous "Pebble Beach" at Pescadero, on the California coast. The long line of white surf comes up with its everlasting roar, and rattles and thunders among the stones on the shore. They are caught in the arms of the pitiless waves, and tossed and rolled, and rubbed together, and ground against the sharp-grained cliffs. Day and night forever the ceaseless attrition goes on--never any rest. And the result?
Tourists from all the world flock thither to gather the round and beautiful stones. They are laid up in cabinets; they ornament the parlour mantels. But go yonder, around the point of the cliff that breaks off the force of the sea; and up in that quiet cove, sheltered from the storms, and lying ever in the sun, you shall find abundance of pebbles that have never been chosen by the traveller.
Why are these left all the years through unsought? For the simple reason that they have escaped all the turmoil and attrition of the waves, and the quiet and peace have left them as they found them, rough and angular and devoid of beauty. Polish comes through trouble.
Since God knows what niche we are to fill, let us trust Him to shape us to it. Since He knows what work we are to do, let us trust Him to drill us to the proper preparation.
"O blows that smite! O hurts that pierce
This shrinking heart of mine!
What are ye but the Master's tools
Forming a work Divine?"
"Nearly all God's jewels are crystallized tears." • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image of the Lone Cypress tree, Pebble Beach, CA by Sharashish
"Neither know we what to do; but our eyes are, upon thee" --2 Chron. 20:12
A life was lost in Israel because a pair of human hands were laid unbidden upon the ark of God. They were placed upon it with the best intent, to steady it when trembling and shaking as the oxen drew it along the rough way; but they touched God's work presumptuously, and they fell paralyzed and lifeless. Much of the life of faith consists in letting things alone.
If we wholly trust an interest to God, we must keep our hands off it; and He will guard it for us better than we can help Him. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."
Things may seem to be going all wrong, but He knows as well as we; and He will arise in the right moment if we are really trusting Him so fully as to let Him work in His own way and time. There is nothing so masterly as inactivity in some things, and there is nothing so hurtful as restless working, for God has undertaken to work His sovereign will. --A. B. Simpson
"Being perplexed, I say,
'Lord, make it right!
Night is as day to Thee,
Darkness as light.
I am afraid to touch
Things that involve so much;
My trembling hand may shake,
My skilless hand may break;
Thine can make no mistake.'
"Being in doubt I say,
'Lord, make it plain;
Which is the true, safe way?
Which would be gain?
I am not wise to know,
Nor sure of foot to go;
What is so clear to Thee,
Lord, make it clear to me!'"
It is such a comfort to drop the tangles of life into God's hands and leave them there. • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Art by Igor Mirgorod
When I have a sick pet or pray for one, I always ask St Martin de Porres to intervene for me with healing. St Martin is one of my favourite saints. I have posted about him before, and I will include some more links below. St Martin started, with his sister, one of the very first dog and cat hospitals in the New World. One of the miracles attributed to St Martin was the bringing back to life of a dog which had been beaten to death. St Martin ate no meat and could not bring himself to use poisons around mice. He talked to them about their mischief in chewing holes in the church vestments, and they agreed to remain outside the church so Martin could feed them himself every day. From Wikipedia:
'Juan Martin de Porres was born in the city of Lima, in the Viceroyalty of Peru, on December 9, 1579, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman, Don Juan de Porres. His mother was a freed slave from Panama, of African or possibly part Native American descent, named Ana Velázquez.
He was noted for work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children's hospital. He maintained an austere lifestyle, which included fasting and abstaining from meat. Among the many miracles attributed to him were those of levitation, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures, and an ability to communicate with animals.'PRAYER TO ST. MARTIN de PORRES
Most humble Martin de Porres, whose burning charity embraced not only thy needy brethren, but also the very animals of the field, splendid example of charity, we hail and invoke thee! From that high throne which thou dost occupy, deign to listen to the supplications of thy needy brethren that, by imitating thy virtues, we may live contented in that state in which God has placed us, and, carrying our cross with strength and courage, we may follow in the footsteps of Our Blessed Redeemer and His most afflicted Mother, to reach at last the Kingdom of Heaven through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
• Prayers and Novena to St Martin de Porres
• Biography and further links
—As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.
—They brought young children to him, that he should touch them. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
—Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
—A high Priest . . .touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
—In his love and in his pity he redeemed them.
—I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
—Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
—The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.Isa. 66:13. -Mark 10:13, 16. -Matt. 15:32. -Heb. 4:15. -Isa. 63:9. John 14:18. -Isa. 49:15. Rev. 7:17.• Reading from DAILY LIGHT ON THE DAILY PATH by Samuel Bagster
• Painting: 'Sermon on the Mount' by Carl Heinrich Bloch