• “God’s refusals are always merciful…God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.” – Elisabeth Elliot

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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  • “They only did what God permitted them to do, which enabled me always to keep God in sight… When we suffer, we should always remember that God inflicts the blow. Wicked men, it is true, are not infrequently His instruments; and the fact does not diminish, but simply develops their wickedness. But when we are so mentally disposed that we love the strokes we suffer, regarding them as coming from God, and as expressions of what He sees best for us, we are then in the proper state to look forgivingly and kindly upon the subordinate instrument which He permits to smite us.” – Madame Guyon

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with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, — Ephesians 4:2 (NKJV)

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