• “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

The Brightest Colours – Streams in the Desert 10/01

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Ps. 119:71).
It is a remarkable circumstance that the most brilliant colours of plants are to be seen on the highest mountains, in spots that are most exposed to the wildest weather. The brightest lichens and mosses, the loveliest gems of wild flowers, abound far up on the bleak, storm-scalped peak.
One of the richest displays of organic colouring I ever beheld was near the summit of Mount Chenebettaz, a hill about 10,000 feet high, immediately above the great St. Bernard Hospice. The whole face of an extensive rock was covered with a most vivid yellow lichen which shone in the sunshine like the golden battlement of an enchanted castle.
There, in that lofty region, amid the most frowning desolation, exposed to the fiercest tempest of the sky, this lichen exhibited a glory of colour such as it never showed in the sheltered valley. I have two specimens of the same lichen before me while I write these lines, one from the great St. Bernard, and the other from the wall of a Scottish castle, deeply embossed among sycamore trees; and the difference in point of form and colouring between them is most striking.
The specimen nurtured amid the wild storms of the mountain peak is of a lovely primrose hue, and is smooth in texture and complete in outline, while the specimen nurtured amid the soft airs and the delicate showers of the lowland valley is of a dim rusty hue, and is scurfy in texture, and broken in outline.
And is it not so with the Christian who is afflicted, tempest-tossed, and not comforted? Till the storms and vicissitudes of God’s providence beat upon him again and again, his character appears marred and clouded; but trials clear away the obscurity, perfect the outlines of his disposition, and give brightness and blessing to his life.
Amidst my list of blessings infinite
Stands this the foremost, that my heart has bled;
For all I bless Thee, most for the severe.
–Hugh Macmillan

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  • “I went up to a man and said ‘Jesus loves you’ …but I realised that it didn’t mean anything unless I did it.” – Jackie Pullinger

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No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. — 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

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