Saturday, April 17, 2010

Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert
Scripture Reference: Job 12:9

Diamond in the Rough

"The hand of the Lord hath wrought this" (Job 12:9).

Several years ago there was found in an African mine the most magnificent diamond in the world's history. It was presented to the King of England to blaze in his crown of state. The King sent it to Amsterdam to be cut. It was put into the hands of an expert lapidary. And what do you suppose he did with it?

He took the gem of priceless value, and cut a notch in it. Then he struck it a hard blow with his instrument, and lo! the superb jewel lay in his hand cleft in twain. What recklessness I what wastefulness! what criminal carelessness!

Not so. For days and weeks that blow had been studied and planned. Drawings and models had been made of the gem. Its quality, its defects, its lines of cleavage had all been studied with minutest care. The man to whom it was committed was one of the most skillful lapidaries in the world.

Do you say that blow was a mistake? Nay. It was the climax of the lapidary's skill. When he struck that blow, he did the one thing which would bring that gem to its most perfect shapeliness, radiance, and jewelled splendor. That blow which seemed to ruin the superb precious stone was, in fact, its perfect redemption. For, from those two halves were wrought the two magnificent gems which the skilled eye of the lapidary saw hidden in the rough, uncut stone as it came from the mine.

So, sometimes, God lets a stinging blow fall upon your life. The blood spurts. The nerves wince. The soul cries out in agony. The blow seems to you an apalling mistake. But it is not, for you are the most priceless jewel in the world to God. And He is the most skilled lapidary in the universe.

Some day you are to blaze in the diadem of the King. As you lie in His hand now He knows just how to deal with you. Not a blow will be permitted to fall upon your shrinking soul but that the love of God permits it, and works out from its depths, blessing and spiritual enrichment unseen, and unthought of by you. --J. H. McC.

In one of George MacDonald's books occurs this fragment of conversation: "I wonder why God made me," said Mrs. Faber bitterly. "I'm sure I don't know what was the use of making me!"

"Perhaps not much yet," said Dorothy, "but then He hasn't done with you yet. He is making you now, and you are quarrelling with the process."

If men would but believe that they are in process of creation, and consent to be made--let the Maker handle them as the potter the clay, yielding themselves in resplendent motion and submissive, hopeful action with the turning of His wheel--they would ere long find themselves able to welcome every pressure of that hand on them, even when it was felt in pain; and sometimes not only to believe but to recognize the Divine end in view, the bringing of a son unto glory.

"Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I guess I should go back and read through my own quickly my heart and head seem to forget the truths the Lord has spoken over my life. In a matter of moments,life seems to crumble and the all the things I dread most come to past. At the end of the day, I am left sitting here wondering where I lost my focus. Wondering how to climb back out. Wondering how I am going to plant my feet firmly on the rock and not run as fast as I can to the nearest escape.

Someday's I hate feeling vulnerable. I hate the fear that accompanies intimacy and authenticity. But it's inevitable. Especially when you want to obey the Lord. Especially when you want to be used by him. So the walls must come down. And you must get close to people. And that takes incredible risk.

Fear is the greatest weapon that seems to come against me during these times that require honesty and openness in relationships. I am so afraid of stupid things. But those stupid things hurt! Things like rejection, disapproval, failure. If you get close enough you might not like what you see. So I keep hiding. Or attempting to hide. Unfortunately, everything I try to hide behind the Lord keeps removing. That is one way to lead me to find refuge in his arms alone!

The problem is when, as a Loving Father, he pushes out of security and tells us to look fear in its eyes and say's to our hearts. " Do not fear." If I didn't know him so well, I would probably question his love. He knows my deepest fear and knows the things it holds me back from in areas of serving him. So the Lord puts me right there in front of that intimidating wall and commands me to climb over it. To push through. To see the truth and stand my ground. To rest in his perfect love and not allow fear to steal the victory.

Sometimes it feels almost cruel. My heart cries out, " Seriously, Lord. Do we really have to deal with that fear, that issue that is buried so deep I didn't even know it existed?" I beg him to deal with some of those less serious, more superficial wounds and fears. But he knows best. He always does. So he reaches deep within and performs his work while I cry, struggle, and plead. He persists even when I question his way and his method. His perfect love invades and casts out fear.

I am glad that even in those moments when I am screaming for relief, when I am begging for a different way, or when I am desperately searching for an escape; the Lord continues his work. He holds me still. He keeps me here in this place where he can work. He doesn't give up. He keeps working away, creating a beautiful masterpiece.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert
Scripture Reference: Exodus 16:20

Do Not Yield to Discouragement

"They looked...and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud" (Exod. 16:10).

Get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of the cloud and when you have found it, continue to look at it, rather than at the leaden gray in the middle.

Do not yield to discouragement no matter how sorely pressed or beset you may be. A discouraged soul is helpless. He can neither resist the wiles of the enemy himself, while in this state, nor can he prevail in prayer for others.

Flee from every symptom of this deadly foe as you would flee from a viper. And be not slow in turning your back on it, unless you want to bite the dust in bitter defeat.

Search out God's promises and say aloud of each one: "This promise is mine." If you still experience a feeling of doubt and discouragement, pour out your heart to God and ask Him to rebuke the adversary who is so mercilessly nagging you.

The very instant you whole-heartedly turn away from every symptom of distrust and discouragement, the blessed Holy Spirit will quicken your faith and inbreathe Divine strength into your soul.

At first you may not be conscious of this, still as you resolutely and uncompromisingly "snub" every tendency toward doubt and depression that assails you, you will soon be made aware that the powers of darkness are falling back.

Oh, if our eyes could only behold the solid phalanx of strength, of power, that is ever behind every turning away from the hosts of darkness, God-ward, what scant heed would be given to the effort of the wily foe to distress, depress, discourage us!

All the marvelous attributes of the Godhead are on the side of the weakest believer, who in the name of Christ, and in simple, childlike trust, yields himself to God and turns to Him for help and guidance. --Selected

On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. His eye still gleamed like a circle of light. Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle's domain. A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength. In those far away heights be had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once be forgot and flew too low. The soul is that eagle. This is not its home. It must not lose the skyward look. We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave. There is no time for the soul to stampede. Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!

"Keep looking up--
The waves that roar around thy feet,
Jehovah-Jireh will defeat
When looking up.

"Keep looking up--
Though darkness seems to wrap thy soul;
The Light of Light shall fill
thy soul
When looking up.

"Keep looking up--
When worn, distracted with the fight;
Your Captain gives you conquering might
When you look up."

We can never see the sun rise by looking into the west. --Japanese Proverb