“So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. ‘Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, for this thing is from me.’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and went home again, according to the word of the Lord.”
1 Kings 12:15, 24 ESV
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, dark morph, female, ventral wing|
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, dark morph, female, dorsal wing|
In a recent Elisabeth Elliot talk my mom and I listened to, Elisabeth read a devotional piece whose author she did not know. It was beautiful but passed too quickly for me to copy it down.
As it happens, the piece, called "This Is My Doing," was written by Laura A. Barter-Snow (1864-1939) and included in the classic daily devotional Streams in the Desert. The refrain comes from the narrative in 1 Kings 12 of the tragic yet prophesied fracture of the nation of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms. Here it is in full. The reminders of God's loving sovereignty in every sort of circumstance and trial helps me to release my grip and trust Him more. May the Lord bless it to your use.
"My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. 'This is my doing.'
"Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me too? 'For whoever touches you touches the apple of [my] eye' (Zechariah 2:8). 'You are precious and honored in my sight' (Isaiah 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you. I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the enemy comes in 'like a pent-up flood' (Isaiah 59:19), that 'this is my doing' and that your weakness needs My strength, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.
"Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? 'This is my doing.' I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident—you are exactly where I meant for you to be. Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.
"Are you having problems with money, finding it hard to make ends meet? 'This is my doing,' for I am the One who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me. My supply is limitless and I 'will meet all your needs' (Philippians 4:19). I want you to prove My promises so no one may say, 'You did not trust in the LORD your God' (Deuteronomy 1:32).
"Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? 'This is my doing.' I am 'a man of suffering, and familiar with pain' (Isaiah 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive 'eternal encouragement and good hope' (2 Thessalonians 2:16).
"Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? 'This is my doing.' You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.
Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things."
~Laura A. Barter Snow (originally published in 1918, public domain at this writing)