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"Streams in the Desert" April 22

From "Streams in the Desert," by Mrs Charles E. Cowan; entry for April 22, especially for Carissa Joy and Karen Ziegler Richards.

"He knoweth the way that I take" (Job 23:10).

"O believer, what a glorious assurance this verse is! What confidence I have because "the way that I take" -- this way of trials and tears, however winding, hidden or tangled -- "HE KNOWS"! When the "furnace is heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated" (Daniel 3:19), I can know He still lights my way. There is an almighty Guide who knows and directs my steps, whether they lead to the bitter water at the well of Marah or to the joy and refreshment of the oasis at Elim (see Exodus 15:23, 27). The way is dark to the Egyptians yet has its own pillar of cloud and fire for God's Israel. The furnace may be hot, but not only can I trust the hand that lights the fire, I can also have the assurance the fire will not consume but only refine. And when the refining process is complete, not a moment too soon or too late, "I will come forth as gold" (by His Grace! Job 23:10). When I feel God is the farthest away, He is often the nearest to me. "WHEN my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who know my way (Psalm 142:3). Do we know of another who shines brighter than the most radiant sunlight, who meets us in our room with the first waking light, who has an infinitely tender and compassionate watchfulness over us throughout our day, and who "knows the way that [we] take"? The pain would be removed (or at least greatly diminished!) from many an agonizing trial if I could only see what Job saw during his time of severe affliction, when all earthly hope lay dashed at his feet. He saw nothing but the hand of God -- God's hand behind the swords of the Sabeans who attacked his servants and cattle, and behind the devastating lightning; God's hand giving wings to the mighty desert winds, which swept away his children; and God's hand in the dreadful silence of his shattered home. Thus, seeing God in everything, Job could say, "The LORD giveth, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD" (Job 1:21). Yet his faith reached its zenith when thus once-powerful prince of the desert "sat among the ashes" (Job 2:8) and still could say, "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him" (Job 13:15). J. R. MacDuff"

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