A gem for wanderers in Streams in the Desert

As a frequent mover, traveler and one who thinks “I could live here” of nearly every place I visit, I frequently ponder what’s next.  What’s down the road in two years?  Where will we be in ten years?  What kind of life experiences will my children have while they are in my care?  Have we chosen this life for its simplicity or its challenges?  We – me, us, people – often look at the road others are traveling and wonder if that’s the road for us.

Like an adult who returns again and again to a popular song learned in their teen years, I frequently return to the September 5th script from the classic devotional Streams in the Desert.  For followers of Jesus who know He has placed them in their current state for a reason, but who also know He has something different planned for them on the road ahead, this will be a huge encouragement.  It’s for the one who thinks about “leaving behind the dull routine of home, thinking in other fields to serve my God,” but hears the Lord say, “My time has not yet come.”  It’s for those who look at the grass on the other side and wish “to join with other laborers in their toil; But Jesus said “‘Tis not My choice for thee.”  For those who are restless and they know not why.  For those who are waiting, though they know not for what.  Be encouraged.  Have “no longing but to do at home, or else afar, His blessed will.”

I longed to walk along an easy road,

   And leave behind the dull routine of home,

Thinking in other fields to serve my God;

   But jesus said, “My time has not yet come.”

I longed to sow the seed in other soil,

   To be unfettered in the work, and free,

To join with other laborers in their toil;

   But Jesus said, ” ‘Tis not My choice for thee.”

I longed to leave the desert, and be led

   To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame.

That I might win them; but the Master said,

   “I have not called thee, publish here My name.”

I longed to fight the battles of my King,

   Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;

But my great Captain bade me wait and sing

   Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.

I longed to leave the uncongenial sphere,

   Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,

To feel I had some human helper near,

  But Jesus bade me guard one lonely gate.

I longed to leave the round of daily toil,

  Where no one seemed to understand or care;

But Jesus said, “I choose for thee this soil,

   That though might’st raise for Me some blossoms rare.”

And now I have no longing but to do

   At home, or else afar, His blessed will,

To work amid the many or the few;

   Thus, “choosing not to choose,” my heart is still.

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“And Patience was willing to wait.” – Pilgrims’s Progress.

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5 thoughts on “A gem for wanderers in Streams in the Desert

  1. This is beautiful, Heidi. It’s a difficult task, “choosing not to choose”, but a very good daily challenge.

    1. It is a good daily reminder. I am really appreciating digging up and reading these writings that were penned nearly a century ago. Human nature hasn’t changed. They are still so relevant!

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