The education of one’s faith is incomplete, if one has not learned that there is a Providence of Loss, a Gift of Emptiness and a Ministry of Failing and Fading Things. The material insecurities of life make for its spiritual establishment. The dwindling stream by which Elijah sat and mused, is a true picture of the life of each of us. “It came to pass ……. that the brook dried up” —- that is the history of our yesterdays and a prophecy of our morrows.
In some way or other, we will have to learn the difference between trusting in the gift and trusting in the Giver. The GIFT may be good for a while, but the GIVER is the Eternal Love. God’s hard words are never His last words. The woe and the waste and the tears of life belong to the INTERLUDE and not to the FINALE. Whenever, in your life and mine some spring of earthly and outward resource has dried up, it has been that we might learn that our hope and help are in God who made Heaven and earth.
Perchance thou, too, hast camped by such sweet waters
And quenched with joy they weary, parched soul’s thirst
To find, as time goes on, thy streamlet alters
From what it was at first.
Hearts that have cheered, or soothed, or blest, or strengthened
Loves that have lavished so unstintedly
Joys, treasured joys — have passed, as time hath lengthened
If thus, ah soul the brook thy heart hath cherished
Doth fail thee now —- no more thy thirst assuage
If its once glad refreshing streams have perished
Let Him they heart engage.
He will not fail, nor mock, nor disappoint thee
His consolations change not with the years
With oil of joy He surely will anoint thee
And wipe away thy tears.
—— J. Danson Smith.