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Streams in the Desert

Devotional For

October 26



      Strong Composure
      
      "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves" (Rom. 12:19).
      
      There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act. Composure is often the highest result of power. To the vilest and most deadly charges Jesus responded with deep, unbroken silence, such as excited the wonder of the judge and the spectators. To the grossest insults, the most violent ill-treatment and mockery that might well bring indignation into the feeblest heart, He responded with voiceless complacent calmness. Those who are unjustly accused, and causelessly ill-treated know what tremendous strength is necessary to keep silence to God.
      
      "Men may misjudge thy aim,
      Think they have cause to blame,
      Say, thou art wrong;
      Keep on thy quiet way,
      Christ is the Judge, not they,
      Fear not, be strong."
      
      St. Paul said, "None of these things move me."
      
      He did not say, none of these things hurt me. It is one thing to be hurt, and quite another to be moved. St. Paul had a very tender heart. We do not read of any apostle who cried as St. Paul did. It takes a strong man to cry. Jesus wept, and He was the manliest Man that ever lived. So it does not say, none of these things hurt me. But the apostle had determined not to move from what he believed was right. He did not count as we are apt to count; he did not care for ease; he did not care for this mortal life. He cared for only one thing, and that was to be loyal to Christ, to have His smile. To St. Paul, more than to any other man, His work was wages, His smile was Heaven. --Margaret Bottome

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