Thursday, May 1, 2014

the streaking dawn

This classic devotional is one of my favorites. It reads a little bit like a blog—a patchwork of quotes, reflections by various writers, poems, and Scriptures that ministered to the author, Lettie Cowman, as she journeyed through a difficult season as a missionary caring for her ailing husband. (In fact, the whole book has been "blogged" here.)

A poem from April 16 by Annie Porter Johnson so eloquently describes our experience this year. By the grace of God, I'm finding myself in the third stanza, reveling in the sunrise of God's presence and blessing, grateful He has carried us safely through a very dark night.

The day had gone; alone and weak
I groped my way within a bleak
   And sunless land.
The path that led into the light
I could not find! In that dark night
   God took my hand.

He led me that I might not stray,
And brought me by a new, safe way
   I had not known.
By waters still, through pastures green
I followed Him—the path was clean
   Of briar and stone.

The heavy darkness lost its strength,
My waiting eyes beheld at length
   The streaking dawn.
On, safely on, through sunrise glow
I walked, my hand in His, and lo,
   The night had gone.

A few days earlier (April 13), the author shared from the memorials of hymn-writer Frances Ridley Havergal, who I've written about before. Havergal said,
"God's love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feel His love. Also His love and His sovereignty are co-equal and universal; so He withholds the enjoyment and conscious progress because He knows best what will really ripen and further His work in us."
Somewhere on this dark and desert path, with God close at my side, He has been working out His best in me.

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