We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
These words speak to my injured heart. I am still a grieving mother who experiences the deepest of wounds with a child missing from my life; a child who was nurtured and loved for more than 29 years. Before he was born I was in love with my child. Every kick was a loving nudge to my heart that I bore life within me…sacred and awesome. I raised this child with utmost care as I have done with all three of my children. I made certain that they were raised in a Christian home with Christian values. We said our nightly prayers….”Now I lay me…” and blessings at mealtime….”Lord we thank You for this food….” I took them to church where each one came to know Christ as their personal Savior. They were all three baptized by the time they were seven years old. In my very naive and immature way, I believed that I could rest knowing that each would be spared the horrors that surely befell the worst of sinners and unbelievers.
In many ways, I failed them. It wasn’t like I was the prototype for the perfect mom. I was not. I was tempted by the world’s way in a lot of areas and yielded to some. I was and still am a sinner. Although, through the years I have and still am growing in my faith, I am still suffering a terrible heart wound that only God will heal when all is done. I came across a copy of Streams in the Desert on my shelf of long forgotten books. I skipped through to today’s date. The poem is beautiful in all its truth. My prayer today is that my suffering is a fragrance to God and that all is not lost on my sorrow as I try to help others who are suffering the same.
This is a devotion for August 15th from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman
Streams In The Desert
Out of Wounding
They strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “We must enter the kingdom of God through many persecutions.”—Acts 14:22 NET
The best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God. The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world.
“Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbriar rose.
“At dewy morn or twilight’s close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.
“But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.
“Ofttimes with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.
“A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.
“Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when tempests blow,
The sweeter flow.
“And should it be Thy blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.
“And while its dying fragrance flows
I’ll whisper low, ‘He loves and knows
His crushed briar rose.’”
If you aspire to be a son (child) of consolation; if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy; if you would pour something beyond commonplace consolation into a tempted heart; if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life with the delicate tact that never inflicts pain; you must be content to pay the price of a costly education—like Him, you must suffer.—F. W. Robertson