A Stand

Today I have been reading Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. However, the entry for today gave me a quick check. Sometimes things happen and we ignore them, but then they keep coming back to us.

This little book gave me that reminder to get up and deal with it. Unfortunately, that means standing in front of the waves and keeping my head up. Last year, before a surgery, the day before actually, I took a master class with a guest dance teacher at my college. After the class, I stayed behind and asked him a few questions about what he did, and how he began dancing.

Following this dialog he asked me why I had mentioned, “being in pain”. I told him that every class was a physical boundary because of an injury I had incurred years ago. He asked if I was getting rehab for it. I told him that I was getting surgery the next day, and promptly broke into tears. It seems I didn’t fancy having someone cut into my body while I was unconscious.

The teacher asked if he could pray for me, and that was possibly the most touching thing he could have asked. Then he said one thing that has stuck in my head,

“Keep your head up”


Life doesn’t like breaks. It keeps pushing us until we either crumble in the fray, or pull up to stand against it. This is what I had read this morning. I hope it speaks to you as much as it did to me.

“He hath made me a polished shaft” (Isa. 49:2).

“There is a very famous “Pebble Beach” at Pescadero, on the California coast. The long line of white surf comes up with its everlasting roar, and rattles and thunders among the stones on the shore. They are caught in the arms of the pitiless waves, and tossed and rolled, and rubbed together, and ground against the sharp-grained cliffs. Day and night forever the ceaseless attrition goes on–never any rest. And the result?

Tourists from all the world flock thither to gather the round and beautiful stones. They are laid up in cabinets; they ornament the parlor mantels. But go yonder, around the point of the cliff that breaks off the force of the sea; and up in that quiet cove, sheltered from the storms, and lying ever in the sun, you shall find abundance of pebbles that have never been chosen by the traveler.

Why are these left all the years through unsought? For the simple reason that they have escaped all the turmoil and attrition of the waves, and the quiet and peace have left them as they found them, rough and angular and devoid of beauty. Polish comes through trouble.

Since God knows what niche we are to fill, let us trust Him to shape us to it. Since He knows what work we are to do, let us trust Him to drill us to the proper preparation.

O blows that smite! O hurts that pierce
This shrinking heart of mine!
What are ye but the Master’s tools
Forming a work Divine?

Nearly all God’s jewels are crystallized tears.”

-L.B. Cowman

Be blessed today.


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