Grow Under the Load

Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare. — Psalm 91:3

The noblest souls are the most tempted. The devil is a sportsman and likes big game. He makes the deadliest assaults on the richest natures, the finest minds, the noblest spirits. ~ John L. Lawrence

Morning

Lord! — the fowler lays his net
In Thine evening hour;
When our souls are full of sleep — Void of full power . . .

Look! The wild fowl sees him not As he lays it lower!

Creeping round the water’s edge In the dusk of day;
Drops his net, just out of sight, Weighted lightly! — Stay!

You can see him at his work . . . Fly to God! — And pray!

Like the wild birds; knowing not Nets lie underneath!
Gliding near the water’s edge — Fowler’s snare” beneath —

Little feet, caught in the net: Souls lie, near to death.

But the promise still rings clear: “He delivers thee,” From the snare, however great
He will set thee free.
“Pluck my feet out of the net!” He delivers me. When Thou dost deliver, Lord,

From the fowler’s snare, Then — the glory is all Thine, Thou madest us aware,
And though it was stealthy-laid, We saw it was there!

~L. M. Warner

Those who have the gale of Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep. ~Brother Lawrence

Evening

Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. — Mark 8:34

The cross that my Lord calls me to carry may assume many different shapes. I may have to be content with mundane tasks in a limited area of service, when I may believe my abilities are suited for much greater work. I may be required to continually cultivate the same field year after year, even though it yields no harvest whatsoever. I may be asked of God to nurture kind and loving thoughts about the very person who has wronged me and to speak gently to him, take his side when others oppose him, and bestow sympathy and comfort to him. I may have to openly testify of my Master before those who do not want to be reminded of Him or His claims. And I may be called to walk through this world with a bright, smiling face while my heart is breaking.

Yes, there are many crosses, and every one of them is heavy and painful. And it is unlikely that I would seek out even one of them on my own. Yet Jesus is never as near to me as when I lift my cross, lay it submissively on my shoulder, and welcome it with a patient and uncomplaining spirit.

He draws close to me in order to mature my wisdom, deepen my peace, increase my courage, and supplement my power. All this He does so that through the very experience that is so painful and distressing to me, I will be of greater use to others.

And then I will echo these words of one of the Scottish Covenantors of the seventeenth century, imprisoned for his faith by John Graham of Claverhouse — “I grow under the load.” ~Alexander Smellie

Use the cross you bear as a crutch to help you on your way, not as a stumbling block that causes you to fall.

You may others from sadness to gladness beguile, If you carry your cross with a smile.

Excerpted with permission from Streams in the Desert Morning and Evening by L. B. Cowman, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Your burden today isn’t too much for Jesus. He’s with you as you bear it with Him. He has born flesh and bone Himself and knows the heartache, difficulty, and hardships of this life. His compassion and empathy extends to you today. Tell Him and then go out today with a smile! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

L.B. Cowman

L. B. Cowman worked as a pioneer missionary with her husband in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917, during which time they helped found the Oriental Missionary Society. When Mr. Cowman's poor health forced the couple to return to the United States, Mrs. Cowman turned her attention to caring for her husband until his death six years later. Out of Mrs. Cowman's experiences and heartbreak came her first book, Streams in the Desert, followed by its companion Springs in the Valley. During the next twenty-five years, Mrs. Cowman inspired several nationwide Scripture distribution campaigns and wrote seven more books. Finally, on Easter Sunday in 1960, at the age of ninety, Mrs. Cowman met face-to-face the God she had served so faithfully for nearly a century.

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