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Streams in the Desert

Devotional For

December 20

      Waiting and Working
      "And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth unto the plain, and I will there talk with thee" (Ezek. 3:22).
      Did you ever hear of any one being much used for Christ who did not have some special waiting time, some complete upset of all his or her plans first; from St. Paul's being sent off into the desert of Arabia for three years, when he must have been boiling over with the glad tidings, down to the present day?
      You were looking forward to telling about trusting Jesus in Syria; now He says, "I want you to show what it is to trust Me, without waiting for Syria."
      My own case is far less severe, but the same in principle, that when I thought the door was flung open for me to go with a bound into literary work, it is opposed, and doctor steps in and says, simply, "Never! She must choose between writing and living; she can't do both."
      That was in 1860. Then I came out of the shell with "Ministry of Song" in 1869, and saw the evident wisdom of being kept waiting nine years in the shade. God's love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feet 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. --Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal
      I laid it down in silence,
      This work of mine,
      And took what had been sent me--
      A resting time.
      The Master's voice had called me
      To rest apart;
      "Apart with Jesus only,"
      Echoed my heart.
      I took the rest and stillness
      From His own Hand,
      And felt this present illness
      Was what He planned.
      How often we choose labor,
      When He says "Rest"--
      Our ways are blind and crooked;
      His way is best.
      The work Himself has given,
      He will complete.
      There may be other errands
      For tired feet;
      There may be other duties
      For tired hands,
      The present, is obedience
      To His commands.
      There is a blessed resting
      In lying still,
      In letting His hand mould us,
      Just as He will.
      His work must be completed.
      His lesson set;
      He is the higher Workman:
      Do not forget!
      It is not only "working."
      We must be trained;
      And Jesus "learnt" obedience,
      Through suffering gained.
      For us, His yoke is easy,
      His burden light.
      His discipline most needful,
      And all is right.
      We are but under-workmen;
      They never choose
      If this tool or if that one
      Their hands shall use.
      In working or in waiting
      May we fulfill
      Not ours at all, but only
      The Master's will!
      God provides resting places as well as working places. Rest, then, and be thankful when He brings you, wearied to a wayside well.

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