Even though I was just a child, I could tell that it was a very special book. I remember that my grandmother — Nana — always kept it with her Bible. She read from the little devotional so often that eventually the binding cracked and the cover fell apart. She patched it up and recovered it with a scrap of wallpaper, from the beautiful pink rose pattern she had just used to remodel her sitting room. It looked a little funny, but it was precious to her. This is it here on the left, in the picture below:
I can still see her sitting on the patio early in the morning, with her tea and toast, having her quiet time. Poring over the Scriptures through her reading glasses, marking verses and taking notes with her favorite colored felt pens.
Sometimes I’d keep her company later on, while she straightened up her bedroom and put away laundry. I’d sit in a chair in the corner, out of the way, watch her tidy things and listen to her sing worship songs. A few were familiar, but others were her own spontaneous expressions of praise — the words and melody rising up from somewhere deep within her. Sometimes she’d weep as she sang, as the Spirit of God touched her heart. Then she’d beam at me and come dust my nose with the powder puff from her dresser or pretend to let me try her lipstick.
As I grew older, Nana often told me stories of how she first fell in love with Jesus and what He meant to her. I honestly couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t know Him, but in my teens I made a conscious decision — an adult decision — to follow after Him. For my birthday, I asked my grandmother if she would give me a copy of the little devotional book she loved so much.
It was Streams In The Desert by L.B. Cowman.
Later, I discovered that Nana had underlined her favorite passage for me, quoting a poem by Annie Johnson Flint.
As I look back on my Nana’s life – all that God brought her through – I can see why those words meant so much to her.
Were it not for grace…
The words of that same poem mean so very much to me today.
Let me share them with you:
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
How can we embrace this grace — experience this grace — today? Is there anything that you and I need to do to position our hearts or our minds to receive it?