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"Streams in the Desert" - July 25

Here's another day's entry from Mrs. Cowman's "Streams in the Desert (for July 25). Dedicated to my Sissa Carissa and her Mom

What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter" -- John 13:7

"In this life, we have but an incomplete view of God's dealings, seeing His plan only half finished and underdeveloped. Yet once we stand in the magnificent temple of Eternity, we will have the proper perspective and will see everything fitting gracefully together. Imagine going to the mountains of Lebanon during the reign of King Solomon. Can you see the majestic cedar? It is the pride of all the other trees and has wrestled many years with the cold north winds! The summer sun has loved to smile upon it, while the night has caused its soft leaves to glisten with drops of dew. Birds have built their nests in its branches, and weary travelers and wandering shepherds have rested in its shade from the midday heat or taken shelter from the raging storms. And suddenly we realize that this old inhabitant of the forest has been doomed to fall victim to the woodman's ax! We watch as the ax makes its first gash on the cedar's gnarled trunk. Then we see its noble limbs stripped of their branches as the tree comes crashing to the ground. We cry out against the wanton destruction of this "Tree of God," as it is distinctively known, and express our anger over the demolition of this proud pillar in the forest temple of nature. We are tempted to exclaim with Zechariah, "Wail, O pine tree, for the cedar has fallen . . . !" (Zech. 11:2), as if inviting the sympathy of every less-majestic plant and invoking inanimate things to also resent the offence. We should not be so quick to complain, but should follow the gigantic tree as the workmen of "Hiram, King of Tyre" (II Chron. 2:3) take it down the mountainside. From there we should watch it sailed on rafts along the blue water of the Mediterranean. And finally, we should behold it being placed as a glorious and polished beam in the temple of God. As you contemplate its final destination, seeing it is in the Holy of Holies as a jewel in the diadem of the almighty King, can you honestly complain that this "crown jewel of Lebanon" was cut down, removed from the forest, and placed in such a noble setting? The cedar had once stood majestically in nature's sanctuary, but "the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house" (Haggai 2:9). So many people are like these cedars of old! God's axes of trials have stripped them bare, and yet we can see no reason for such harsh and difficult circumstances. But God has a noble goal and purpose in mind: to place them as everlasting pillars and rafters in His heavenly Zion. And He says to them, "You will be a crown of splendour in the LORD'S hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God" (Isaiah 62:3). J.R. Macduff

I do not ask my cross to understand, My way to see -- Better in darkness just to feel Your hand, And follow Thee."

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