January 5

“Lord there is none beside thee to help.” 2 Chronicles 14:11 I RV

“The odds against Asa were enormous. There was a million of men in arms against him, besides three hundred chariots. It seemed impossible to hold his own against that vast multitude. There were no allies who would come to help; his only hope, therefore, was in God. It may be that your difficulties have been allowed to come to so alarming a pitch that you may be compelled to renounce all creature aid, to which in lesser trials you have had recourse, and cast yourself back on your Almighty Friend.” (Streams in the Desert)

Agonizing circumstances brought about the birth of Streams. Excerpts from Mrs. Cowman’s 1924 diary written during the long months of her husband’s illness, unveil an inner sanctum of dark suffering in which God’s purposes are only dimly discerned. During their years together as missionaries, the Cowmans had firmly established a legacy of relentless passion for Christ. Oswald Chambers, who visited their work in Japan, said “The thing that strikes you about Charles Cowman is his absolute reckless, careless abandonment to Jesus Christ.” Not long after Chambers’ assessment, Charles was stricken with a severe heart attack that left him invalid until his death on September 25, 1924. It was through this crucible of testing that Lettie’s literary legacy was born. In Streams she writes as a survivor, and as such lends a helping hand to each of us on our own journey of despair and triumph. Lettie states in a personal preface to her collection of devotional writings:

“Both in the physical and spiritual realm, great pressure means great power! Although circumstances may bring us into the place of death, that need not spell disaster—for if we trust the Lord and wait patiently, that simply provides the occasion for the display of His almighty power.”

“When nothing whereon to lean remains,

When strongholds crumble to dust;

When nothing is sure but that God still reigns,

That is just the time to trust.

‘‘Tis better to walk by faith than sight,

In this path of yours and mine;

And the pitch-black night, when there’s no outer light

Is the time for faith to shine.” Streams

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