Streams in the Desert - Mar 22

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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According to your faith will it be done to you. (Matthew 9: 29)

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. . . . Then the Lord said to him, “ . . . I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.” (Acts 7: 30, 33– 34)

Forty years was a long time to wait in preparation for a great mission. Yet when God delays, He is not inactive. This is when He prepares His instruments and matures our strength. Then at the appointed time we will rise up and be equal to our task. Even Jesus of Nazareth had thirty years of privacy, growing in wisdom before He began His work.
~John Henry Jowett

God is never in a hurry. He spends years preparing those He plans to greatly use, and never thinks of the days of preparation as being too long or boring.

The most difficult ingredient of suffering is often time. A short, sharp pain is easily endured, but when a sorrow drags on its long and weary way year after monotonous year, returning day after day with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength. Without the grace of God, the heart is sure to sink into dismal despair.

Joseph endured a long trial, and God often has to burn the lessons he learned into the depths of our being, using the fires of prolonged pain. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Mal. 3: 3), yet He knows the specific amount of time that will be needed. Like a true goldsmith, God stops the fire the moment He sees His image in the glowing metal.

Today we may be unable to see the final outcome of the beautiful plan that God has hidden “in the shadow of his hand” (Isa. 49: 2). It may be concealed for a very long time, but our faith may rest in the assurance that God is still seated on His throne. Because of this assurance, we can calmly await the time when, in heavenly delight, we will say, “All things [have] work[ ed] together for good” (Rom. 8: 28 KJV).

As Joseph did, we should be more careful to focus on learning all the lessons in the school of sorrow than to focus anxious eyes toward the time of our deliverance. There is a reason behind every lesson, and when we are ready, our deliverance will definitely come. Then we will know we could never have served in our place of higher service without having been taught the very things we learned during our ordeal. God is in the process of educating us for future service and greater blessings. And if we have gained the qualities that make us ready for a throne, nothing will keep us from it once His timing is right.

Don’t steal tomorrow from God’s hands. Give Him time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never late— learn to wait.

He never shows up late; He knows just what is best;
Fret not yourself in vain; until He comes just REST.

Never run impulsively ahead of the Lord. Learn to await His timing— the second, minute, and hour hand must all point to the precise moment for action.


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 123-125). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual