Streams in the Desert

May 4

“He maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth and his hands make whole.” (Job 5:18)
The ministry of a great sorrow.

AS we pass beneath the hills which have been shaken by the earthquake and torn by convulsion, we find that periods of perfect repose succeed those of destruction. The pools of calm water lie clear beneath their fallen rocks, the water lilies gleam, and the reeds whisper among the shadows; the village rises again over the forgotten graves, and its church tower, white through the storm twilight, proclaims a renewed appeal to His protection “in whose hand are all the corners of the earth, and the strength of the hills is his also.”—Ruskin.

God ploughed one day with an earthquake,
  And drove His furrows deep!
The huddling plains upstarted,
  The hills were all aleap!

But that is the mountains’ secret,
  Age-hidden in their breast;
“God’s peace is everlasting,”
  Are the dream-words of their rest.

He made them the haunts of beauty,
  The home elect of His grace;
He spreadeth His mornings upon them,
  His sunsets light their face.

His winds bring messages to them—
  Wild storm-news from the main;
They sing it down the valleys
  In the love-song of the rain.

They are nurseries for young rivers,
  Nests for His flying cloud,
Homesteads for new-born races,
  Masterful, free, and proud.

The people of tired cities
  Come up to their shrines and pray;
God freshens again within them,
  As He passes by all day.

And lo, I have caught their secret!
  The beauty deeper than all!
This faith—that life’s hard moments,
  When the jarring sorrows befall,

Are but God ploughing His mountains;
  And those mountains yet shall be
The source of His grace and freshness,
  And His peace everlasting to me.

—William C. Gannett.

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