Streams in the Desert - Dec 11

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. . . . May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion. (Psalm 134: 1, 3)


You may see this as a strange time to worship—“ minister[ ing] by night in the house of the Lord.” Indeed, worshiping at night, during the depth of our sorrows, is a difficult thing. Yet therein lies the blessing, for it is the test of perfect faith. If I desire to know the true depth of my friend’s love, I must see how he responds during the winter seasons of my life. And it is the same with divine love.

It is easy for me to worship in the summer sunshine, when the beautiful melodies of life seem to fill the air, and the lush fruit of life is still on the trees. But when the songbirds cease and the fruit falls from the trees, will my heart continue to sing? Will I remain in God’s house at night? Will I love Him simply for who He is? Am I willing to “keep watch for one hour” (Mark 14: 37) with Him in His Gethsemane? Will I help Him carry His cross up the road of suffering to Calvary? Will I stand beside Him in His dying moments, with Mary, His mother, and John, the beloved disciple? Would I be able, with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, to take the dead Christ from His cross?

If I can do these things, then my worship is complete and my blessing glorious. Then I have indeed shown Him love during the time of His humiliation. My faith has seen Him in His lowest state, and yet my heart has recognized His majesty through His humble disguise. And at last I truly know that I desire not the gift but the Giver. Yes, when I can remain in His house through the darkness of night and worship Him, I have accepted Him for Himself alone.
~George Matheson

My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace,
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God;
It’s His to lead me there, not mine, but His—
“At any cost, dear Lord, by any road!”
So faith bounds forward to its goal in God,
And love can trust her Lord to lead her there;
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard
Till the Lord has fulfilled my deepest prayer.
No matter if the way is sometimes dark,
No matter though the cost is often great,
He knows the way for me to reach the mark,
The road that leads to Him is sure and straight.
One thing is sure, I cannot tell Him no;
One thing I do, I press towards my Lord;
Giving God my glory here, as I go,
Knowing in heaven waits my Great Reward.

Reference

Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 461). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual