Comfort in the Depths

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee who passing through the valley of weeping, make it a well” (Ps. 84:5, 6).

Comfort does not come to the light-hearted and merry. We must go down into “depths” if we would experience this most precious of God’s gifts–comfort, and thus be prepared to be co-workers together with Him.

When night–needful night–gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness, drops of heavenly dew–dew which falls only when the sun has gone.

“I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the ‘God of all comfort’ was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

“As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

“When he leads thro’ some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

“Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.

“Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
‘Hereafter Thou’lt know what I do.’

“As we travel thro’ life’s shadow’d valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

“So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.”

(From Charles E Cowman Devotionals – Streams in the Desert)

Flowing From Us

“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out!” (Song of Solomon 4:16).

Look at the meaning of this prayer a moment. Its root is found in the fact that, as delicious odors may lie latent in a spice tree, so graces may lie unexercised and undeveloped in a Christian’s heart. There is many a plant of profession; but from the ground there breathes forth no fragrance of holy affections or of godly deeds. The same winds blow on the thistle bush and on the spice tree, but it is only one of them which gives out rich odors.

Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loveth to smell.

“I had a tiny box, a precious box
Of human love–my spikenard of great price;
I kept it close within my heart of hearts,
And scarce would lift the lid
Lest it should waste its perfume on the air.
One day a strange deep sorrow came with crushing weight,
And fell upon my costly treasure,
Sweet and rare, and broke the box to atoms.

All my heart rose in dismay
And sorrow at this waste,
But as I mourned,
Behold a miracle of grace Divine.
My human love was changed to Heaven’s own,
And poured in healing streams on other broken hearts,
While soft and clear
A voice above me whispered,
“Child of Mine, with comfort wherewith thou art comforted,
from this time forth, go comfort others,
and thou shalt know blest fellowship with Me,
whose broken heart of love hath healed the world.”

(From Charles E Cowman Devotionals – Streams in the Desert)