Faith. Trusting God for what we don’t understand & what we desire. “Streams in the Desert” (June 2009)

Susan's Thursday note June 18, 2009 
Faith.  Trusting God for what we do not understand and what we desire.
Streams in the Desert by HC Cowman

Good morning!!!  Is it possible that summer & sunshine & swimming & complaining about the heat & seeing corn grow is finally coming this week?  Last Saturday I picked up the daily devotional that I’ve written to you out of before.  I was given this journal by my mom & have not found any daily devotional more effective in giving verses, hymns, poems, and quotes showing God’s care for me in my day to day life.  Especially in cares and pain.  I’d like to write for you June 13’s entry from Streams in the Desert by LB. Cowman (first published in 1925).   I have never really thought about the word “faith” and this is what I read:

My peace I give you.  (John 14:27)

Two painters were once asked to paint a picture illustrating his own idea of rest.  The first chose for his scene a quiet, lonely lake, nestled among mountains far away.  The second, using swift, broad strokes on his canvas, painted a thundering waterfall.  Beneath the falls grew a fragile birch tree, bending over the foam.  On its branches, nearly wet with the spray from the falls, sat a robin on its nest…

Rest is not some holy feeling that comes upon us in church.  It is a state of calm rising from a heart deeply and firmly established in God.    (Henry Drummond)

My times I give in times of deepest grief,
imparting calm and trust and My relief.
My peace I give when prayers seems lost, unheard;
Know that My promises are ever in My Word.
My peace I give when you are left alone –
The nightingale at night has sweetest tone.
My peace I give in times of utter loss,
The way of glory leads right to the cross.
My peace I give when enemies will blame,
Your fellowship is sweet through cruel shame.
My peace I give in agony and sweat,
For My own brow with bloody drops was wet.
My peace I give when nearest friend betrays –
Peace that is merged in love, and for them prays.
My peace I give when there’s but death for thee-
The gateway is the cross to get to me. (L.S.P.)


I then went to the index of the devotional and looked up “faith” – January 4th entry that has been in my head all week:

When you are confronted with a matter that requires immediate prayer, pray until you believe God – until with wholehearted sincerity you can thank Him for the answer.  If you do not see the external answer immediately, do not pray for it in such a way that it is evident you are not definitely believing God for it.  This type of prayer will be a hindrance instead of a help to you.  And when you are finished praying, you will find that your faith has been weakened or has entirely gone…never pray in a way that diminishes your faith.  Prayers that empty us of faith deny both God’s promises from his Word and the “Yes” that he whispered to our hearts.  Such prayers are only the expression of the unrest of our hearts, and unrest implies unbelief that our prayers will be answered.   “Now we who have believed enter that rest.”  (Hebrews 4;3)

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.  (George Mueller)

I remember Anne Lindberg made a comment in one of her diaries that through the loss of her toddler from the kidnapping her greatest fear was that she “lost her faith.”

June 12 had one more poem that I can’t leave out.

     Is it raining, little flower?  Be glad of rain;
     Too much sun would wither one; It will shine again.
     The clouds are very dark, it’s true; But just behind them shines the blue.
     Are you weary, tender heart?  Be glad of pain: In sorrow, sweetest virtues grow, As flowers in rain.
     God watches, and you will have sun, When clouds their perfect work have done.  (Lucy Larcom)

Have a great week, trying, along with me, to learn the meaning of faith and to find peace as the robin did under her waterfall.  Not by finding somewhere secluded and quiet, but by knowing, through faith, that your life is in the care of a God that is holding your hand.  Thank you for letting me send you my thoughts this week.  Go take on your day – make decisions only you know you make that cause you pride when you lay down tonight.  Susan

Latin for this week:
Have Faith - Fidem habe

Works Cited:
Cowman, Lettie B., James Reimann, and Charles E. Cowman. Streams in the Desert : 366 Daily Devotional Readings. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.