This following excerpt from “Streams In The Desert” was a great encouragement to me; this devotional book constantly blesses, encourages, and challenges me as I struggle from day to day.
When talking with a dear friend yesterday, she asked how she could pray specifically for me as I endure the medical treatments that are so hard for me. I told her that I need courage. Courage to endure them and be thankful for them; and also courage to pray for that courage! I find myself still praying for God to take this cup from me. But I am realizing (in my stubbornness) that I need to stop praying for that. The cup isn’t going away. He isn’t taking it anywhere. I need to start praying for courage to drink it. The poem here at the bottom of this excerpt reminds me of that: “we can do more than this, O Soul.” And so in my plight, this encouraged me & challenged me. Perhaps in your plight, whatever that is, it will do the same for you.
“As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
The stoic scorns to shed a tear; the Christian is not forbidden to weep. The soul may be dumb with excessive grief, as the shearer’s scissors pass over the quivering flesh; or, when the heart is on the point of breaking beneath the meeting surges of trial, the sufferer may seek relief by crying out with a loud voice. But there is something even better.
They say that springs of sweet fresh water well up amid the brine of salt seas; that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes; that the noblest psalms were the outcome of the profoundest agony of soul.
Be it so. And thus amid manifold trials, souls which love God will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy. Though deep call to deep, yet the Lord’s song will be heard in silver cadence through the night. And it is possible in the darkest hour that ever swept a human life to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure God’s will, nor only to choose it; but to rejoice in it with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I will be still, my bruised heart faintly murmured,
As o’er me rolled a crushing load of woe;
The cry, the call, e’en the low moan was stifled;
I pressed my lips; I barred the tear drop’s flow.
I will be still, although I cannot see it,
The love that bares a soul and fans pain’s fire;
That takes away the last sweet drop of solace,
Breaks the lone harp string, hides Thy precious lyre.
But God is love, so I will bide me, bide me–
We’ll doubt not, Soul, we will be very still;
We’ll wait till after while, when He shall lift us
Yes, after while, when it shall be His will.
And I did listen to my heart’s brave promise;
And I did quiver, struggling to be still;
And I did lift my tearless eyes to Heaven,
Repeating ever, “Yea, Christ, have Thy will.”
But soon my heart upspake from ‘neath our burden,
Reproved my tight-drawn lips, my visage sad:
“We can do more than this, O Soul,” it whispered.
“We can be more than still, we can be glad!”
And now my heart and I are sweetly singing–
Singing without the sound of tuneful strings;
Drinking abundant waters in the desert,
Crushed, and yet soaring as on eagle’s wings.
–S. P. W.