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About Streams in the Desert


An Updated Edition in Today’s Language

For years, the beloved classic devotional Streams in the Desert


has sustained and replenished God’s weary desert travelers. Now,
bursting forth like a sparkling clear river of wisdom, encour-
agement, and inspiration, this updated edition of Streams in the
Desert promises to revive and refresh today’s generation of faith-
ful sojourners, providing daily Scripture passages from the pop-
ular, readable New International Version—and modern, easy-
to-understand language that beautifully captures the timeless
essence of the original devotional.
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Praise for
Streams in the Desert, Updated Edition

“Jim Reimann’s updating of Streams in the Desert is a much-


needed book for our time, and a worthy companion to his
updated My Utmost for His Highest. This new volume is truly
fresh water from a time-tested fountainhead of faith.”
—Gary Smalley

“The author has sifted through ideas and concepts and come
out with a shining work that uplifts and encourages the read-
er. . . .A Handbook of strength and comfort.”
—Barbara Johnson, Spatula Ministries
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AN UPDATED EDITION IN TODAY’S LANGUAGE

STREAMS
IN THE
DESERT
366 DAILY
®

DEVOTIONAL READINGS

L . B. C O W M A N
EDITED BY JAMES REIMANN
EDITOR OF MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST,
UPDATED EDITION
Streams in the Desert®
Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader™ Format
Copyright © 1997 by Zondervan
This updated edition is based on the original text of Streams in the Desert
Copyright 1925, 1953, and 1965 by Cowman Publications, Inc.,
and Copyright © 1996 by Zondervan
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

ISBN: 0-310-24470-6

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973,
1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of
Zondervan. All rights reserved. Note: when italics or small capitals are
used for emphasis in Scripture quotations, that use is the author’s, not
the original translators’.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,


or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical,
photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed
reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Interior design by Sue Vandenberg Koppenol


Table of Contents
Praise for Streams in the Desert, Updated Edition 3
Introduction to the Updated Edition 9
A Personal Word from L. B. Cowman 11

January 12
February 55
March 94
April 135
May 176
June 215
July 255
August 293
September 333
October 371
November 411
December 446

Contributors Index 489


Scripture Index 495
Subject Index 504
About the Authors 510
About the Publisher 513
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Dedication to the Updated Edition

To Aaron,my second-born son.You have endured a great


deal this past year: a sudden brain aneurysm and massive
hemorrhage, surgery, and an on-going recovery period.Yet
through it all, you have been a joy to all of us who love you
and evidence of God’s loving protection.You have not com-
plained but have been a living example of the Spirit of God
having His perfect way in the heart of a child of His. May
the Lord continue to use your life as a testimony for oth-
ers of Christ’s enduring power and grace.
Sometimes the Lord’s way is hard,
Leading through many stresses and storms;
But Satan’s harsh touch is barred,
And God’s character He surely forms.
Though you nearly tasted death,
You’ve learned how God sovereignly spares;
He renewed your life and breath,
Displaying how graciously He cares.
Yet today still unrevealed,
He has made for you a perfect plan;
Just follow the path He’s willed,
And you’ll soon become a godly man.
James Reimann
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,
‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future’” (Jer. 29:11).
“I always pray with joy. . .being confident of this, that he
who began a good work in you will carry it on to com-
pletion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:4, 6).
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“Through waves, and clouds, and storms


He gently clears the way.”
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Introduction to the Updated Edition

October 24, 1995, is a date I will never forget. I was called out of
a business meeting with the terrifying news that my second-born son,
Aaron, had just had a massive brain hemorrhage while away at school.
After having won a scholarship to college and spending only six weeks
there, he had been found in a park near the school, calling out for
help.After a number of people ignored him, a “good Samaritan” final-
ly stopped to help. She called 911—saving him from certain death.
Aaron had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot that had grown
to the size of a tennis ball.
Since then Aaron has undergone months of therapy and has grace-
fully endured numerous changes in his life. It is continuing to take
much time and hard work, but he is determined to regain what he
has lost. And when I look back on the past year, I am also reminded
of a number of other changes and trials our family has endured.Yet as
a result, each of us has seen the sovereign hand of God at work.
Two days after my son’s surgery, Zondervan tried to contact me
to see if I would be interested in writing an updated edition of Streams
in the Desert.They had no way of knowing that I was still sitting with
my son in intensive care, and from the outset I have seen this timing
as sovereign—not coincidental.As I have worked on this book God has
ministered to me in a mighty way—meeting me at the point of my
own personal need.
Streams in the Desert’s enduring power is the result of the selections
being firmly based on the truth of Scripture.As the editor of the updat-
ed edition,I have endeavored to maintain the beauty of the original with-
out altering its meaning, giving it the same care I gave the updated edi-
tion of My Utmost for His Highest, which I edited several years ago.
For those of you familiar with both Streams in the Desert and My Utmost
for His Highest, you may be interested in knowing something of the tie
between these two best-selling daily devotional books of all time.Not only
were they originally published during the same time period (Streams in
1925, and My Utmost in 1927), but L. B. Cowman, who compiled Streams
in the Desert, and Oswald Chambers had ministered together.They met
when Cowman and her husband were missionaries to Japan and Cham-
bers traveled there to preach.Also,both were greatly influenced by Charles
Spurgeon, the great English preacher of the late 1800s. Chambers came

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to a saving knowledge of Christ through the preaching of Spurgeon, and


Cowman selected more of Spurgeon’s writings for Streams in the Desert
than those of any other person.
I trust you will enjoy reading Streams in the Desert. As mentioned
before, God has ministered to me in a mighty way as I have worked
on this book, and I would like to share one very special example.
One morning as I was reading the Scriptures and praying, all of the
events of the past several months seemed to be crushing in on me. My
family and I were dealing with a number of changes in our lives includ-
ing the sale of a business we had owned for twenty years, my oldest
son leaving home to join the Navy, and Aaron leaving for college. All
this was then followed by Aaron’s brain hemorrhage and surgery.The
next month, my mother had to have emergency surgery, was hospital-
ized for thirty days, and my wife and daughter were in a car wreck and
suffered whiplash. As I reflected on all of this, I found myself com-
plaining to the Lord about my circumstances and all of the things that
seemed to be afflicting my family and me.
After I finished my prayer time, asking God to remove all my afflic-
tions, I resumed my work on Streams in the Desert. To my amazement,
especially since I was not in the best frame of mind, the next devotion
I worked on was the one for February 19. You may want to turn to
that one now to see how providentially it applied to my situation.The
message of this devotion was exactly what I needed to hear, and was a
great encouragement to me that God certainly is not finished with me
yet. And I could honestly say after working on that devotion that my
heart was reopened to the words of Paul, who said,“I have learned to
be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11).
My prayer is that God would also minister to you through Streams
in the Desert in a similar way. I know firsthand the power of Christ that
lies within these pages, and the hope, encouragement, comfort, and
strength that comes from His Word being applied to our hearts. I trust
these insights into God’s Word will be like “Streams in the Desert” to
you during the difficult times of your life, for He has said,“Water will
gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isa. 35:6).

James Reimann
Editor

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A Personal Word from L. B. Cowman

In the pathway of faith we come to learn that the Lord’s


thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways. Both
in the physical and spiritual realm, great pressure means great
power! Although circumstances may bring us into the place
of death, that need not spell disaster—for if we trust in the
Lord and wait patiently, that simply provides the occasion for
the display of His almighty power.“Remember his marvelous
works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of
his mouth” (Ps. 105:5 KJV).

11
January

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5


Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15
Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20
Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25
Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 Day 29 Day 30
Day 31
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January 1
The land you are . . .to take possession of is a land of mountains and val-
leys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares
for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the begin-
ning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11:11–12)
Today we stand at the threshold of the unknown. Before us lies
a new year, and we are going forward to take possession of it.
Who knows what we will find? What new experiences or
changes will come our way? What new needs will arise? In spite
of the uncertainty before us, we have a cheerful and comfort-
ing message from our heavenly Father: “The Lord your God
cares for [it]; the eyes of the Lord . . . are continually on it from
the beginning of the year to its end.”
The Lord is to be our Source of supply. In Him are springs,
fountains, and streams that will never be cut off or run dry. To
those who are anxious comes the gracious promise of our heav-
enly Father: If He is the Source of our mercies, mercy will never
fail us. No heat or drought can dry the “river whose streams
make glad the city of God” (Ps. 46:4).
Yet the land we are to possess is a land of valleys and hills. It
is not all flat or downhill. If life were always smooth and level,
the boring sameness would weigh us down.We need the valleys
and the hills.The hills collect the rain for hundreds of fruitful
valleys. And so it is with us! It is the difficulty encountered on
the hills that drives us to the throne of grace and brings the show-
ers of blessing.Yes, it is the hills, the cold and seemingly barren
hills of life that we question and complain about,that bring down
the showers. How many people have perished in the wilderness
valley, buried under its golden sand, who would have thrived in
the hills? And how many would have been killed by the cold,
destroyed or swept desolate of their fruitfulness by the wind,if not
for the hills—stern, hard, rugged, and so steep to climb? God’s
hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!
We cannot see what loss, sorrow, and trials are accomplish-
ing.We need only to trust.The Father comes near to take our
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hand and lead us on our way today. It will be a good and blessed
New Year!
He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o’er clouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.
Nicholaus Ludwig Zinzendorf

January 2
The side rooms all around the temple were wider at each successive level.
The structure surrounding the temple was built in ascending stages, so
that the rooms widened as one went upward. A stairway went up from
the lowest floor to the top floor through the middle floor. (Ezekiel 41:7)
Still upward be your onward course:
For this I pray today;
Still upward as the years go by,
And seasons pass away.
Still upward in this coming year,
Your path is all untried;
Still upward may you journey on,
Close by your Savior’s side.
Still upward although sorrow come,
And trials crush your heart;
Still upward may they draw your soul,
With Christ to walk apart.

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Still upward till the day shall break,


And shadows all have flown;
Still upward till in Heaven you wake,
And stand before the throne.
We should never be content to rest in the mists of the val-
ley when the summit of Mount Tabor awaits us. How pure is
the dew of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich
the food and drink of those who dwell above, whose windows
look into the New Jerusalem! Many saints are content to live
like people in coal mines, who never see the sun.Tears sadden
their faces when they could be anointed with heavenly oil. I am
convinced that many believers suffer in a dungeon when they
could walk on a palace roof, viewing the lush landscape and
Lebanon.Wake up, believers, from your lowly condition! Throw
away your laziness, sluggishness, coldness, or whatever is inter-
fering with your pure love for Christ. Make Him the Source,
the Center,and the One who encompasses every delight of your
soul. Refuse to be satisfied any longer with your meager accom-
plishments.Aspire to a higher, a nobler, and a fuller life. Upward
to heaven! Nearer to God! Charles H. Spurgeon
I want to scale the utmost height,
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray, till heaven I’ve found,
Lord, lead me on to higher ground!
Not many of us are living at our best.We linger in the low-
lands because we are afraid to climb the mountains.The steep-
ness and ruggedness discourage us, so we stay in the mist of the
valleys and never learn the mystery of the hills.We do not know
what is lost by our self-indulgence, what glory awaits if we only
have the courage to climb, or what blessings we will find if we
will only ascend the mountains of God! J. R. M.
Too low they build who build beneath the stars.

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January 3
I [will] move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that
of the children. (Genesis 33:14)
What a beautiful picture of Jacob’s thoughtfulness for the cattle
and the children! He would not allow them to be driven too hard
for even one day. He would not lead them at a pace equal to what
a strong man like Esau could keep or expected them to keep, but
only one as fast as they were able to endure. He knew exactly how
far they could go in a day, and he made that his only considera-
tion in planning their travel.He had taken the same wilderness jour-
ney years before and knew from personal experience its roughness,
heat, and distance. And so he said,“I [will] move along slowly.”
“Since you have never been this way before” (Josh. 3:4).
We “have never been this way before,” but the Lord Jesus has.
It is all untraveled and unknown ground to us, but He knows
it all through personal experience. He knows the steep places
that take our breath away, the rocky paths that make our feet
ache, the hot and shadeless stretches that bring us to exhaustion,
and the rushing rivers that we have to cross—Jesus has gone
through it all before us.As John 4:6 shows,“Jesus, tired as he was
from the journey, sat down.” He was battered by every possi-
ble torrent, but all the floodwaters coming against Him never
quenched His love. Jesus was made a perfect leader by the things
He suffered.“He knows how we are formed, he remembers that
we are dust” (Ps. 103:14).Think of that when you are tempted
to question the gentleness of His leading. He remembers all the
time and will never make you take even one step beyond what
your feet are able to endure. Never mind if you think you are
unable to take another step, for either He will strengthen you
to make you able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you will
not have to take it at all. Frances Ridley Havergal
In “pastures green”? Not always; sometimes He
Who knowest best, in kindness leadeth me

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In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.


So, whether on the hilltops high and fair
I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
The shadows lie, what matter? He is there.
Barry

January 4
Jesus replied,“You may go.Your son will live.”The man took Jesus at
his word and departed. (John 4:50)
Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe. (Mark 11:24)
When you are confronted with a matter that requires imme-
diate prayer, pray until you believe God—until with whole-
hearted sincerity you can thank Him for the answer. If you do
not see the external answer immediately, do not pray for it in
such a way that it is evident you are not definitely believing God
for it.This type of prayer will be a hindrance instead of a help
to you. And when you are finished praying, you will find that
your faith has been weakened or has entirely gone.The urgency
you felt to offer this kind of prayer is clearly from self and Satan.
It may not be wrong to mention the matter to the Lord again,
if He is keeping you waiting for His answer, but be sure to do
so in a way that shows your faith.
Never pray in a way that diminishes your faith. You may tell Him
you are waiting, still believing and therefore praising Him for
the answer.There is nothing that so fully solidifies faith as being
so sure of the answer that you can thank God for it. Prayers
that empty us of faith deny both God’s promises from His Word
and the “Yes” that He whispered to our hearts. Such prayers
are only the expression of the unrest of our hearts, and unrest
implies unbelief that our prayers will be answered. “Now we
who have believed enter that rest” (Heb. 4:3).
The type of prayer that empties us of faith frequently arises
from focusing our thoughts on the difficulty rather than on

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God’s promise. Abraham, “without weakening in his faith, . . .


faced the fact that his body was as good as dead. . . .Yet he did
not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but
was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God” (Rom.
4:19–20). May we “watch and pray so that [we] will not fall into
[the] temptation” (Matt. 26:41) of praying faith-diminishing
prayers. C. H. P.
Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but simply taking
God at His word. Christmas Evans
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the begin-
ning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Mueller
You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God
gives us His promises in a quiet hour, seals our covenants with
great and gracious words, and then steps back, waiting to see
how much we believe. He then allows the Tempter to come, and
the ensuing test seems to contradict all that He has spoken.This
is when faith wins its crown.This is the time to look up through
the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors declare,
“I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me”
(Acts 27:25).
Believe and trust; through stars and suns,
Through life and death, through soul and sense,
His wise, paternal purpose runs;
The darkness of His Providence
Is starlit with Divine intents.

January 5
Then Asa . . . said,“Lord, there is no one like you to help the power-
less against the mighty.” (2 Chronicles 14:11)
Remind God of His exclusive responsibility:“There is no one
like you to help.”The odds against Asa’s men were enormous.
“Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army
and three hundred chariots” (v. 9). It seemed impossible for Asa

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to hold his own against that vast multitude.There were no allies


who would come to his defense.Therefore his only hope was
in God.
It may be that your difficulties have come to such an alarm-
ing level that you may be compelled to refuse all human help.
In lesser trials, you may have had that recourse, but now you
must cast yourself on your almighty Friend. Put God between
yourself and the enemy.
Asa, realizing his lack of strength, saw Jehovah as standing
between the might of Zerah and himself.And he was not mis-
taken. We are told that the Cushites “were crushed before
the Lord and his forces” (v. 13), as though heavenly warriors
threw themselves against the enemy on Israel’s behalf. God’s
forces so overwhelmed the vast army of the enemy that they
fled. Then all Israel had to do was follow up and gather the
plunder. Our God is “the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 10:16 KJV), who
can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to
help His people. Believe that He is between you and your dif-
ficulty, and what troubles you will flee before Him, as clouds
in the wind. F. B. Meyer
When nothing on which to lean remains,
When strongholds crumble to dust;
When nothing is sure but that God still reigns,
That is just the time to trust.
It’s better to walk by faith than sight,
In this path of yours and mine;
And the darkest night, when there’s no outer light
Is the time for faith to shine.
“Abraham believed God” (Rom. 4:3), and said to his eyes,
“Stand back!” and to the laws of nature,“Hold your peace!” and
to an unbelieving heart,“Silence, you lying tempter!” He sim-
ply “believed God.” Joseph Parker

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January 6
When you pass through the waters . . . they will not sweep over you.
(Isaiah 43:2)
God does not open paths for us before we come to them, or
provide help before help is needed. He does not remove obsta-
cles out of our way before we reach them.Yet when we are at
our point of need, God’s hand is outstretched.
Many people forget this truth and continually worry about
difficulties they envision in the future.They expect God to open
and clear many miles of road before them, but He promises to
do it step by step, only as their need arises.You must be in the
floodwaters before you can claim God’s promise. Many people
dread death and are distressed that they do not have “dying
grace.” Of course, they will never have the grace for death when
they are in good health.Why should they have it while in the
midst of life’s duties, with death still far away? Living grace is
what is needed for life’s work and calling, and then dying grace
when it is time to die. J. R. M.
“When you pass through the waters”
Deep the waves may be and cold,
But Jehovah is our refuge,
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself has said it,
He, the faithful God and true:
“When you come to the waters
You will not go down, BUT THROUGH.”
Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitter anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain—
They will never overflow us
For we know His word is true;
All His waves and all His billows

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He will lead us safely THROUGH.


Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt’s insidious undertow,
Will not sink us, will not drag us
Out to ocean depths of woe;
For His promise will sustain us,
Praise the Lord, whose Word is true!
We will not go down, or under,
For He says,“You will pass THROUGH.”
Annie Johnson Flint

January 7
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippi-
ans 4:11)
Paul, while being denied every comfort, wrote the above
words from a dark prison cell.
A story is told of a king who went to his garden one morn-
ing, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the
oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was.The oak
said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not
tall and beautiful like the pine tree.The pine was troubled because
it could not bear grapes like the grapevine.The grapevine was
determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect
and produce fruit as large as peaches.The geranium was fretting
because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.
And so it went throughout the garden.Yet coming to a vio-
let, the king found its face as bright and happy as ever and said,
“Well, violet, I’m glad to find one brave little flower in the midst
of this discouragement. You don’t seem to be the least dis-
heartened.” The violet responded, “No, I’m not. I know I’m
small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach
tree or even a lilac, you would have planted one. Since I knew

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you wanted a violet, I’m determined to be the best little violet


I can be.”
Others may do a greater work,
But you have your part to do;
And no one in all God’s family
Can do it as well as you.
People who are God’s without reservation “have learned to
be content whatever the circumstances.” His will becomes their
will, and they desire to do for Him whatever He desires them
to do. They strip themselves of everything, and in their naked-
ness find everything restored a hundredfold.

January 8
I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
(Ezekiel 34:26)
What is your season today? Are you experiencing a season of
drought? If so, then it is the season for showers.Are you going
through a season of great heaviness with dark clouds? Then that
too is the season for showers. “Your strength will equal your
days” (Deut. 33:25).“I will send . . . showers of blessing.” Notice
that the word “showers” is plural.
God will send all kinds of blessings. And all His blessings go
together like links in a golden chain. If He gives you saving
grace, He will also give you comforting grace. God will send
“showers of blessings.” Look up today, you who are dried and
withered plants. Open your leaves and flowers and receive God’s
heavenly watering. Charles H. Spurgeon
Let but your heart become a valley low,
And God will rain on it till it will overflow.
You, O Lord, can transform my thorn into a flower. And I
do want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job received sun-
shine after the rain, but was the rain all wasted? Job wants to

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know, and I want to know, if the rain is related to the sunshine.


Only You can tell me—Your cross can tell me. You have
crowned Your sorrow. Let this be my crown, O Lord. I will only
triumph in You once I have learned the radiance of the rain.
George Matheson
The fruitful life seeks rain as well as sunshine.
The landscape, brown and dry beneath the sun,
Needs but the cloud to lift it into life;
The dews may dampen the tree and flower,
But it requires the cloud-distilled shower
To bring rich greenness to the lifeless life.
Ah, how like this, the landscape of a life:
Dews of trial fall like incense, rich and sweet;
But meaning little in the crystal tray—
Like moths of night, dews lift at break of day
And fleeting impressions leave, like lips that meet.
But clouds of trials, bearing burdens rare,
Leave in the soul, a moisture settled deep:
Life stirs by the powerful law of God;
And where before the thirsty camel trod,
There richest beauties to life’s landscape leap.
Then read you in each cloud that comes to you
The words of Paul, in letters large and clear:
So will those clouds your soul with blessing feed,
And with a constant trust as you do read,
All things together work for good. Fret not, nor fear!

January 9
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the
glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
I once kept a bottle-shaped cocoon of an emperor moth for
nearly one year.The cocoon was very strange in its construc-
tion.The neck of the “bottle” had a narrow opening through

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which the mature insect forces its way.Therefore the abandoned


cocoon is as perfect as one still inhabited, with no tearing of the
interwoven fibers having taken place.The great disparity between
the size of the opening and the size of the imprisoned insect
makes a person wonder how the moth ever exits at all. Of course,
it is never accomplished without great labor and difficulty. It is
believed the pressure to which the moth’s body is subjected when
passing through such a narrow opening is nature’s way of forc-
ing fluids into the wings,since they are less developed at the time
of emerging from the cocoon than in other insects.
I happened to witness the first efforts of my imprisoned moth
to escape from its long confinement. All morning I watched it
patiently striving and struggling to be free. It never seemed able
to get beyond a certain point,and at last my patience was exhaust-
ed.The confining fibers were probably drier and less elastic than
if the cocoon had been left all winter in its native habitat,as nature
meant it to be. In any case, I thought I was wiser and more com-
passionate than its Maker, so I resolved to give it a helping hand.
With the point of my scissors, I snipped the confining threads
to make the exit just a little easier. Immediately and with per-
fect ease, my moth crawled out, dragging a huge swollen body
and little shriveled wings! I watched in vain to see the marvelous
process of expansion in which these wings would silently and
swiftly develop before my eyes. As I examined the delicately beau-
tiful spots and markings of various colors that were all there in
miniature, I longed to see them assume their ultimate size. I
looked for my moth, one of the loveliest of its kind, to appear in
all its perfect beauty. But I looked in vain. My misplaced tender-
ness had proved to be its ruin.The moth suffered an aborted life,
crawling painfully through its brief existence instead of flying
through the air on rainbow wings.
I have thought of my moth often, especially when watching
with tearful eyes those who were struggling with sorrow, suf-
fering, and distress. My tendency would be to quickly alleviate
the discipline and bring deliverance. O shortsighted person that

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I am! How do I know that one of these pains or groans should


be relieved? The farsighted,perfect love that seeks the perfection
of its object does not weakly shrink away from present,momen-
tary suffering. Our Father’s love is too steadfast to be weak.
Because He loves His children,He “disciplines us . . .that we may
share in his holiness” (Heb. 12:10).With this glorious purpose
in sight, He does not relieve our crying. Made perfect through
suffering, as our Elder Brother was, we children of God are dis-
ciplined to make us obedient, and brought to glory through
much tribulation. from a tract

January 10
Paul and his companions . . . [were] kept by the Holy Spirit from
preaching the word in the province of Asia. (Acts 16:6)
It is interesting to study the way God extended His guidance to
these early messengers of the Cross. It consisted mainly in pro-
hibiting their movement when they attempted to take a course
other than the right one.When they wanted to turn to the left,
toward Asia, He stopped them.When they sought to turn to the
right, toward Bithynia in Asia Minor, He stopped them again. In
his later years,Paul would do some of his greatest work in that very
region,yet now the door was closed before him by the Holy Spir-
it.The time was not yet ripe for the attack on these apparently
impregnable bastions of the kingdom of Satan. Apollos needed
to go there first to lay the groundwork. Paul and Barnabas were
needed more urgently elsewhere and required further training
before undertaking this responsible task.
Beloved, whenever you are in doubt as to which way to turn,
submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, asking
Him to shut every door but the right one. Say to Him,“Blessed
Spirit, I give toYou the entire responsibility of closing every road
and stopping every step that is not of God. Let me hear Your
voice behind me whenever I ‘turn aside to the right or to the
left’ [Deut. 5:32].”

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In the meantime, continue along the path you have already


been traveling. Persist in your calling until you are clearly told
to do something else. O traveler, the Spirit of Jesus is waiting
to be to you what He was to Paul. Just be careful to obey even
His smallest nudging or warning.Then after you have prayed
the prayer of faith and there are no apparent hindrances, go
forward with a confident heart. Do not be surprised if your
answer comes in doors closing before you. But when doors are
shut to the right and left, an open road is sure to lead to Troas.
Luke waits for you there,and visions will point the way to where
vast opportunities remain open, and faithful friends are waiting.
from Paul, by F. B. Meyer
Is there some problem in your life to solve,
Some passage seeming full of mystery?
God knows, who brings the hidden things to light.
He keeps the key.
Is there some door closed by the Father’s hand
Which widely opened you had hoped to see?
Trust God and wait—for when He shuts the door
He keeps the key.
Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet,
Or answered NOT as you had thought ’twould be?
God will make clear His purpose by and by.
He keeps the key.
Have patience with your God, your patient God,
All wise, all knowing, no long lingerer He,
And of the door of all your future life
He keeps the key.
Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest,
To know of EVERY door He keeps the key.
That He at last when just HE sees is best,
Will give it THEE.
Anonymous
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