STORIES MY GRANDMOTHER FIRST READ TO ME were from a book titled STREAMS IN THE DESERT. She and the author were friends in the early 1900’s. Mrs. Cowman (the author) was a missionary and Grandma was a “Lady Evangelist.” May this poetry from her book encourage us TODAY.
ONE DAY WHEN WALKING DOWN THE STREET, on business bent, while thinking hard about the “hundred cares” which seemed like thunder clouds about to break in torrents; Self-Pity said to me:
“You poor, poor thing, you have too much to do. Your life is far too hard. This heavy load will crush you soon.”
A swift response of sympathy welled up within. The burning sun seemed more intense. The dust and noise of puffing motors flying past with rasping blast of blowing horn incensed still more the whining nerves, the fabled last back-breaking straw to weary, troubled, fretting mind.
“Ah yes, it will break and crush my life; I cannot bear this constant strain of endless, aggravating cares; they are too great for such as I.”
So thus my heart consoled itself “enjoying misery” when to a “still small voice” distinctly said, “T’was sent to lift you—not to crush.”
I saw at once my great mistake. My place was not beneath the load but on the top! God meant it not that I should carry it. He sent it here to carry me. Full well He knew my incapacity before the plan was made. He saw a child of His in need of grace and power to serve; a puny twig requiring sun and rain to grow; an undeveloped chrysalis; a weak soul lacking faith in God. He could not help but see all this and more. And then, with tender thought He placed it where it had to grow—or die. To lie and cringe beneath one’s load means death, but life and power await all those who dare to rise above.
Our burdens are our wings; on them we soar to higher realms of grace; without them we must ever roam on plains of undeveloped faith, (for faith grows but by exercise in circumstance impossible). O paradox of Heaven. The load we think will crush was sent to lift us up to God!
Then, soul of mine, Climb up! Nothing can e’er be crushed save what is underneath the weight. How may we climb! By what ascent will we crest the critical cares of life! Within His Word is found the key which opens His secret stairs; alone with Christ, secluded there, we mount our loads, and rest in Him.
The poem above is by Mary Butterfield found in the book, Streams in the Desert. The original book was published in 1925 and then updated by Zondervan Corporation in 1997.