BY REV HENRY HONG
“Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him.
Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.”
ISAIAH 32:1-2 NLT
During this pandemic, if you or someone close or perhaps a friend is struck down with a critical medical condition, what would your response be?
Missionary Mrs Charles Cowman found in this text the title for her renowned devotional book, Streams in the Desert. She shares that she and her beloved husband, were serving in the remote mountains of Japan when “one evening, like a bolt out the blue, came the stroke that completely changed everything in our lives. A doctor was summoned hastily, and after a hurried examination he said to me, ‘Your husband’s work is finished. Take him to the homeland and immediately if you would not bury him in heathen soil.’ “What a change for this keen, active man! From the din of the battle to the seclusion of the sick chamber. From the glow and glory of the work he loved so dearly, to the utter abandonment of it all. A triumphant faith was needed just then and God gave it. My husband found it was possible to praise God in the darkest hour and it was my privilege to be by his side through the six long, pain-filled years.” “One day, when lonely and bereft, a sweet Voice whispered to me, ‘Pass on to the troubled hearts some of the messages that were helpful to you throughout the years of testing.’ So a book was compiled and the first edition of Streams in the Desert was sent on its errand of love.”
Fanny Crosby was also inspired by this text to compose the lyric of the hymn sung around the world:
A wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Lord,
A wonderful Saviour to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock; Where rivers of pleasure I see.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand.
When we may be called upon to go through the desert experience of life, may we claim God’s gracious promise and provision of His refreshing streams in the desert.
HEAVENLY FATHER, thank you for the refreshing streams in the desert places of our lives, and for the refuge amid the storms of life.