From: STREAMS IN THE DESERT by L.R. Cowman
**You may read this devotional online at LightSource.com"And Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? Who answered, give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs" (Joshua 15:18, 19).
There are both upper and nether springs. They are springs, not stagnant pools. There are joys and blessings that flow from above through the hottest summer and the most desert land of sorrow and trial. The lands of Achsah were "south lands," lying under a burning sun and often parched with burning heat. But from the hills came the unfailing springs, that cooled, refreshed and fertilized all the land.
There are springs that flow in the low places of life, in the hard places, in the desert places, in the lone places, in the common places, and no matter what may be our situation, we can always find these upper springs.
Abraham found them amid the hills of Canaan. Moses found them among the rocks of Midian. David found them among the ashes of Ziklag when his property was gone, his family captives and his people talked of stoning him, but "David encouraged himself in the Lord."
Habakkuk found them when the fig tree was withered and the fields were brown, but as he drank from them he could sing: "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of my salvation."
Isaiah found them in the awful days of Sennacherib's invasion, when the mountains seemed hurled into the midst of the sea, but faith could sing: "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved."
The martyrs found them amid the flames, and reformers amid their foes and conflicts, and we can find them all the year if we have the Comforter in our hearts and have learned to say with David: "All my springs are in thee."
How many and how precious these springs, and how much more there is to be possessed of God's own fullness!
--A. B. Simpson
I said: "The desert is so wide!"
I said: "The desert is so bare!
What springs to quench my thirst are there?
Whence shall I from the tempest hide?"
I said: "The desert is so lone!
Nor gentle voice, nor loving face
Will brighten any smallest space."
I paused or ere my moan was done!
I heard a flow of hidden springs;
Before me palms rose green and fair;
The birds were singing; all the air
Did shine and stir with angels' wings!
And One said mildly: "Why, indeed,
Take over-anxious thought for that
The morrow bringeth! See you not
The Father knoweth what you need?"--Selected[Image Source]
"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
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
—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
"When thou goest, thy way shall be opened up before thee step by step" --Proverbs 4:12
The Lord never builds a bridge of faith except under the feet of the faith-filled traveller. If He builds the bridge a rod ahead, it would not be a bridge of faith. That which is of sight is not of faith.
There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveller approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed.
This illustrates the way to pass every barrier on the road of duty. Whether it is a river, a gate, or a mountain, all the child of Jesus has to do is to go for it. If it is a river, it will dry up when you put your feet in its waters. If it is a gate, it will fly open when you are near enough to it, and are still pushing on. If it is a mountain, it will be lifted up and cast into a sea when you come squarely up, without flinching, to where you thought it was.
Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won't be there.--Henry Clay Trumbull
We sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty said, "Up and onward forevermore." Let us move on and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way. The path will open, as we progress, like the trail through the forest, or the Alpine pass, which discloses but a few rods of its length from any single point of view. Press on! If necessary, we will find even the pillar of cloud and fire to mark our journey through the wilderness. There are guides and wayside inns along the road. We will find food, clothes and friends at every stage of the journey, and as Rutherford so quaintly says: "However matters go, the worst will be a tired traveller and a joyful and sweet welcome home."
I'm going by the upper road, for that
still holds the sun,
I'm climbing through night's pastures where
the starry rivers run:
If you should think to seek me in my
old dark abode,
You'll find this writing on the door,
"He's on the Upper Road."--Selected • Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image from Scenic Reflections