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Streams in the Desert, Vol . II Springs in the Valley Words of Comfort and Cheer Mountain Trailways for Youth Traveling Toward Sunrise
STREAMS in the DESERT
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
"Through R•llv(' , al]d IIOWIS, and storms He gently clears the Nvay ."
L°~b PUBLISHING HOUSE
OF THE ZONOERVAN CORPORATION GRAND RAPIDS . MICHIGAN 49506
PUBLISHER 'S FOREWORD
COWMAN PUBLICATIONS, INC.
Copyright Renewal 1953
COWMAN PUBLICATIONS, INC
COWMAN PUBLICATIONS, INC.
In 1925 the first edition of STREAMS IN THE DESERT was released . In it were thoughts, quotations, spiritual inspiration which helped to sustain Mrs . Charles E . Cowman during her years of missionary work in Japan and China—particularly the six years she nursed her husband while he was dying . After two years and three thousand books in print it was suggested to Mrs . Cowman that since all her friends had copies, there was probably no need to print any more. From this humble beginning STREAMS IN THE DESERT has become a daily devotional classic, a leader in its field for more than fifty years. At various times it has appeared in more than a dozen languages, and at present is in four foreign language editions . Its ministry is worldwide, unhindered by national, political or geographic boundaries . From a royal palace in North Africa and a presidential mansion in Asia to wartime concentration camps . . . from primitive huts in remote corners of the world to elegantly furnished houses in cultural centers . . . to thousands of homes representing a cross section of the world today, STREAMS IN THE DESERT continues to bring its spiritual refreshment, its word of encouragement and inspiration just suited for the moment's need. For the readers of the more than three million copies now in print, STREAMS IN THE DESERT iS more than a book—it is a living word of confidence and assurance, God's message for the day. The Publishers
All Rights Reserved
ISBN 0-310-22520-5 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The compiler takes pleasure in acknowledging the kindness of authors and publishers who, very generously, have granted permission to use extracts from their copyrighted publications. Among those to whom such acknowledgments are due are the following : to Fleming H . Revell Company for selections from the books of F . B . Meyer and Andrew Murray ; to Dr . C . G . Trumbull for extracts from "Messages for the Morning Watch" and the Sunday School Times ; to the Christian Alliance Publishing Company for quotations from "Days of Heaven upon Earth" and other publications, also excerpts from sermons and tracts by Dr . A . B . Simpson ; and to Miss Annie Johnson Flint for her poems. Indulgence is begged in case of failure to reach any other author, or holder of copyrighted selections.
Printed and Bound in the United States of America,
82 83 84 85 86 87 88 / 110 109 108 107 106
STREAMS IN THE DESERT That bent o'er the fire, tho' unseen by us, With a look of ineffable love. Can we think that it pleases His loving heart To cause us a moment's pain? Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross The bliss of eternal gain. So He waited there with a watchful eye, With a love that is strong and sure, And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat, Than was needed to make it pure ."
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be, in id, myself a rainbow—a minister to others' joy. My pwill be perfect when it can work in the vineyard. —George Matheson. n all our hopes are gone, well our hands must keep toiling on For others' sake: strength to bear is found in duty done; he is best indeed who learns to make joy of others cure his own heartache ."
"Let ua run with patience ." (Heb. 12 :1 .) O rur 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 strer.gth ; 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 s ervice—in the exchange, in the workshop, in the hour of social intercourse, in th_ contribution to another's joy. There is no burial of sorrow so difficult as that ; it is the "running with pat.ence." This was Thy patience, O Son of man! It was at once a waiting and s 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 went bearing a mighty grief, unshared, unspoken . Men ask for a rainbow in the cloud ; but I would ask more from Thee. I would
3e also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities ; for we t what to pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit its(th intercession for us with groanings which canuttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knchat is the mind of the Spirit, because he maercession for the saints according to the will of tRomans 8 :26, 27.) the deep mystery of prayer. This is the deliivine mechanism which words cannot interpret, hich theology cannot explain, but which the est believer knows even when he does not underthe burdens that we love to bear and cannot ' ( ttand! Oh, the inarticulate out-reachings of carts for things we cannot comprehend! And yet weiey are an echo from the throne and a whisper from t; of God . It is often a groan rather than a song, a rather than a buoyant wing . But it is a blessed burden' s a groan whose undertone is praise and unutterable jos "a groaning which cannot be uttered ." We could n ves express it always, and sometimes we do not underst more than that God is praying in us, for something is His touch and that He understands. And:an just pour out the fullness of our heart, the burden pirit, the sorrow that crushes us, and know that He hea ves, He understands, He receives ; and He separates f brayer all that is imperfect, ignorant and wrong, and PrS rest, with the incense of the great High Priest, before tie on high ; and our prayer is heard, accepted and an.1 His name .—A . B. Simpson. ti te
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is awake and utterly loving ; to desire nothing but what comes meant for us from His hand ; to wait patiently, ready to die of hunger, fearing only lest faith should fail—such is the victory that overcometh the world, such is faith indeed. —George MacDonald.
shalt rehe promise . The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be ment of supreme and rapturous blessing . God's river, w full of water, shall burst its banks, and pour upon the of wealth and grace. There is nothing, indeed, which G not do for a man who dares to step out upon what se( be the mist ; though as he puts down his foot he finds beneath him. B . Meyer.
"Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son. . . . I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven ; . because thou hast obeyed my voice ." (Gen . 22 :16-18 .) ND from that day to this, men have been learning that when, at God's voice, they surrender up to Him the one thing above all else that was dearest to their very hearts, that same thing is returned to them by Him a thousand times over. Abraham gives up his one and only son, at God's call, and with this disappear all his hopes for the boy's life and manhood, and for a noble family bearing his name . But the boy is restored, the family becomes as the stars and sands in number, and out of it, in the fullness of time, appears Jesus Christ. That is just the way God meets every real sacrifice of every child of His . We surrender all and accept poverty ; and He sends wealth . We renounce a rich field of service ; He sends us a richer one than we had dared to dream of . We give up all our cherished hopes, and die unto self ; He sends us the life more abundant, and tingling joy . And the crown of it all is our Jesus Christ. For we can never know the fullness of the life that is in Christ until we have made Abraham's supreme sacrifice. The earthly founder of the family of Christ must commence by losing himself and his only son, just as the Heavenly Founder of that family did . We cannot be members of that family with the full privileges and joys of membership upon any other basis .—C. G. Trumbull. We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire ; and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave. Think not, O soul of man, that Abraham's was a unique and solitary experience . It is simply a specimen and pattern of God's dealings with all souls who are prepared to obey Him at whatever cost. After thou hast patiently endured, thou
"lbe still, and I will behold in my dwelling placea . 18 :4, R.V .) A was marching against Ethiopia, the people of are described as tall and smooth . And as the advance, God makes no effort to arrest them; as as though they will be allowed to work their He is still watching them from His dwelling the sun still shines on them ; but before the ;t, the whole of the proud army of Assyria is n as easily as when sprigs are cut off by the ;g hook of the husbandman. Is noa marvelous conception of God—being still and watching stillness is not acquiescence . His silence is not conne is only biding His time, and will arise, in the most op], moment, and when the designs of the wicked seem on nt of success, to overwhelm them with disaster. As we It on the evil of the world ; as we think of the apparentss of wrong-doing ; as we wince beneath the oppressiaose that hate us, let us remember these marvelous worct God being still and beholding. Thercther side to this. Jesus beheld His disciples toiling at tl; through the stormy night ; and watched though unseen, 1cessive steps of the anguish of Bethany, when Lazarus passed through the stages of mortal sickness, until he bed and was borne to the rocky tomb . But He was onl3ng the moment when He could interpose most effectuallHe still to thee? He is not unobservant ; He is beholdinpings ; He has His finger on thy pulse, keenly sensitive is fluctuations . He will come to save thee when the preci :ent has arrived .Daily Devotional Commentary. Whatis questions or His reticences, we may be absolutely sun unperplexed and undismayed Saviour .
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