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The Place of Help

Greetings All,
     I trust your weekend went well.  Fall is in full swing and without question my favorite time of the year.  And although the colors around here aren't quite as brilliant as in New England (probably due to the comparative lack of maple trees here in contrast to there) it is refreshing to drive around and see the splash of colors that beautify the countryside. 
    This weeks "thought" comes from Oswald Chambers.  A friend who just stayed with us gave me a copy of his now out of print book entitled "The Place of Help." The thought comes from the chapter entitled: "At God's Discretion," and is based on Proverbs 25:2, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing."   Enjoy!
     "It is the glory of God to conceal His treasures in things that involve us in... difficulty.  'I will give you the treasures of darkness," says God (Isaiah 45:3).  We would never have suspected that treasures were hidden there, and that to get them we would have to go through things that involve us in perplexity. 
    There is nothing more wearying to the eye than perpetual sunshine, and the same is true spiritually.  The valley of the shadow gives us time to reflect, and we learn to praise God for the valley because in it our soul was restored in its communion with God.  God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow
      What are the days and the experiences that have furthered us most?  The days of green pastures, or absolute ease?  No. They have their value; but the days that have furthered us most in character are the days of stress and cloud, the days when we could not see our way but had to stand still and wait; and as we waited, the comforting and sustaining and restoring of God came in a way we never imagined possible before. 
     God wants us to realize His sovereignty.  We are apt to tie God up in His own laws and allow Him no free will.  We say we know what God will do, and suddenly He upsets all our calculations by working in unprecedented ways.  Just when we expected He would do a certain thing, He did the opposite.  There are unexpected issues in life; unexpected joys when we looked for sorrow, and sorrow when we expected joy, until we learn to say, 'All my expectations are from Thee' .... God hides His treasures in darkness, and many a radiant star that was not seen before, comes out. 
     In some lives you can see the treasure -- there is a sweetness and beauty about them, 'the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,' and you wonder where the winsome power of God came from.  It came from the dark places where God revealed His sovereign will in unexpected ways...  God grant that we may His clouds and mysteries, and be led by way of the valley into His inner secrets by obedient trust."
      Have a great week, and do look for God (and growth) in the places you least expected to find it or Him. 
      With Earnest Prayers for your Spiritual Enrichment,  Pastor Jeff
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans

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