Streams in the Desert - Apr 11

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. (Matthew 10: 27)

Our Lord is constantly taking us into the dark in order to tell us something. It may be the darkness of a home where bereavement has drawn the blinds; the darkness of a lonely and desolate life, in which some illness has cut us off from the light and the activity of life; or the darkness of some crushing sorrow and disappointment.

It is there He tells us His secrets— great and wonderful, eternal and infinite. He causes our eyes, blinded by the glare of things on earth, to behold the heavenly constellations. And our ears suddenly detect even the whisper of His voice, which has been so often drowned out by the turmoil of earth’s loud cries.

Yet these revelations always come with a corresponding responsibility: “What I tell you . . . speak in the daylight . . . proclaim from the roofs.” We are not to linger in the darkness or stay in the closet. Soon we will be summoned to take our position in the turmoil and the storms of life. And when that moment comes, we are to speak and proclaim what we have learned.

This gives new meaning to suffering, the saddest part of which is often the apparent feeling of uselessness it causes. We tend to think, “How useless I am! What am I doing that is making a difference for others? Why is the ‘expensive perfume’ (John 12: 3) of my soul being wasted?” These are the desperate cries of the sufferer, but God has a purpose in all of it. He takes His children to higher levels of fellowship so they may hear Him speaking “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex. 33: 11), and then deliver the message to those at the foot of the mountain. Were the forty days Moses spent on the mountain wasted? What about the time Elijah spent at Mount Horeb or the years Paul spent in Arabia?

There is no shortcut to a life of faith, which is an absolute necessity for a holy and victorious life. We must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God. Our souls must have times of fellowship with Him on the mountain and experience valleys of quiet rest in the shadow of a great rock. We must spend some nights beneath the stars, when darkness has covered the things of earth, silenced the noise of human life, and expanded our view, revealing the infinite and the eternal. All these are as absolutely essential as food is for our bodies.

In this way alone can the sense of God’s presence become the unwavering possession of our souls, enabling us to continually say, as the psalmist once wrote, “You are near, O Lord” (Ps. 119: 151).
~F. B. Meyer

Some hearts, like evening primroses, open more beautifully in the shadows of life.


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 150-151). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual