Monday, November 27, 2006

Of sorrows and joys

Blessed are those whose strength is in you...As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs. -- Psalm 84:5-6

Comfort, according to L.B. Cowman, is not given to us when we are lighthearted and cheerful. It comes after we travel the depths of emotion. Comfort, along with peace, I must say, are God's most precious gifts.

Here's an inspiring poem from L.B. Cowman's Streams in the Desert.

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places as oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

When he leads us through some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we run from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Gardener knows
That the deeper the cutting and trimming,
The richer the cluster that grows.

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Soon you'll understand what I do."

As we travel through life's shadowed valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we'll follow wherever He leads us,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.

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