• “When human reason has exhausted every possibility, the children can go to their Father and receive all they need.…For only when you have become utterly dependent upon prayer and faith, only when all human possibilities have been exhausted, can you begin to reckon that God will intervene and work His miracles.” – Basilea Schlink

Grow in the Gloom – Streams in the Desert 08/24

“I have all, and abound” (Phil. 4:18).
In one of my garden books there is a chapter with a very interesting heading, “Flowers that Grow in the Gloom.” It deals with those patches in a garden which never catch the sunlight. And my guide tells me the sort of flowers which are not afraid of these dingy corners–may rather like them and flourish in them.
And there are similar things in the world of the spirit. They come out when material circumstances become stern and severe. They grow in the gloom. How can we otherwise explain some of the experiences of the Apostle Paul?
Here he is in captivity at Rome. The supreme mission of his life appears to be broken. But it is just in this besetting dinginess that flowers begin to show their faces in bright and fascinating glory. He may have seen them before, growing in the open road, but never as they now appeared in incomparable strength and beauty. Words of promise opened out their treasures as he had never seen them before.
Among those treasures were such wonderful things as the grace of Christ, the love of Christ, the joy and peace of Christ; and it seemed as though they needed an
“encircling gloom” to draw out their secret and their inner glory. At any rate the realm of gloom became the home of revelation, and Paul began to realize as never before the range and wealth of his spiritual inheritance. Who has not known men and women who, when they arrive at seasons of gloom and solitude, put on strength and hopefulness like a robe? You may imprison such folk where you please; but you shut up their treasure with them. You cannot shut it out. You may make their material lot a desert, but “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”–Dr. Jowett
“Every flower, even the fairest, has its shadow beneath it as it swings in the sunlight.”
Where there is much light there is much shade.

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  • “How very narrow is the gate that leads to a life in God! (Mt 7:14) How little one must be to pass through it, it being nothing else but death to self! But when we have passed through it, what enlargement do we find! David said, ‘He brought me forth also in a large place’ (Ps. 18:19). And it was through humiliation and abasement that he was brought there.” – from Madame Guyon’s autobiography Ch. 22

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But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. — Acts 20:24 (NKJV)

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