Streams in the Desert: A Legacy of Faith and Wisdom

Streams in the Desert: A Legacy of Faith and Wisdom

Updated on October 25, 2017

Do you have a daily time for prayer and reflection? A time to get away from distractions and draw near to God? Maybe you’ve heard of “quiet time” but haven’t made it a habit. Now is a good time to start.

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Make Time for God

How would you describe Christianity? Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) was an American pastor, Bible teacher, and founder of Love Worth Finding. Here’s how he described Christianity:

“Christianity is not a legal relationship;
it is a LOVE relationship [emphasis mine].”

To develop a relationship with God, you must spend time with Him. He longs to spend time with us, but often we aren’t listening. A daily quiet time helps us “hear” God and deepen our relationship with Him.

To have a meaningful quiet time, you need the right tools – a Bible, a journal, a notepad. I use old-fashioned pen and paper to take notes, but YouVersion has free digital tools for your PC, phone, or tablet.

Quiet Time Gifts

Calendar | Journal | Mug

[Tweet “Christianity is not a legal relationship; it is a love relationship. – Adrian Rogers”]

Streams in the Desert

A good devotional can also make quiet times meaningful. I like Streams in the Desert by Lettie Cowman. My mother gave me her copy to read as a child, and I’ve been reading it ever since.

Published in 1925, Streams in the Desert presents timely insights and timeless wisdom to inspire your walk with God. Cowman drew inspiration for the title from Isaiah 35:6:

“Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.”

This classic devotional can be a fountain of encouragement, especially when you face setbacks and struggles. Here’s a little background on the author and how her book came about.

Who Was Lettie Cowman?

Lettie Burd Cowman (1870-1960) was an American writer and missionary. She is best known for Streams in the Desert and a companion volume, Springs in the Valley. She wrote her books as Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

Streams in the Desert

Charles Elmer Cowman was Lettie Burd’s childhood sweetheart. The couple married in 1889.

In 1901, they left America to serve as missionaries in Japan. Together, they founded the Oriental Mission Society (OMS), which eventually became OMS International.

Today, their organization bears the name One Mission Society – “One Lord. One life. One calling.”

According to the ministry website, one person comes to Christ every 31 seconds through the work of One Mission Society. Their mission statement succinctly summarizes their mission: “By God’s grace, One Mission Society unites, inspires, and equips Christians to make disciples of Jesus Christ.”

An Ambitious Evangelism Plan

With help from two of their friends – Earnest Kilbourne and Juji Nakada – the Cowmans opened two Bible institutes in Japan. They also launched the Great Village Campaign.

This evangelistic effort was later called the Every Creature Crusade. It was an ambitious plan to share the Word of God with every home in Japan.

The Cowmans managed to reach 60 million people before Charles fell ill with a heart condition. His illness forced the couple to return home to the United States.

In 1924, Charles had a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body. He died two months later.

A Legacy of Faith and Wisdom

After her husband’s death, Lettie Cowman continued the work they started in Japan. Over time, she expanded their outreach to Africa, South America, Cuba, and Eastern Europe.

Streams in the Desert: A Legacy of Faith and Wisdom

Cowman also poured herself into writing books. Before her death in 1960, she penned another five devotionals. She also wrote her husband’s biography.

Streams in the Desert is still her most popular work, but no one expected success when it was published. In fact, the publisher planned only 3,000 copies.

God had other plans.

Today, there are several editions of Streams in the Desert in print – in dozens of languages. It’s one of the finest devotionals ever written, and Cowman gave all credit to God.

According to One Mission Society, she was fond of saying, “I did not write Streams. God gave me Streams.”

God has encouraged millions of people around the world through Lettie Cowman’s pen. Streams in the Desert is truly a legacy of faith and wisdom. One that will deepen your walk with God.

And Now, Over to You

Thank you for reading my post. Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. Do you set aside part of your day for prayer, reflection, and fellowship with God? What’s your favorite devotional resource?

I would love to hear your quiet time suggestions. Let’s fill the comments with friendly conversation. Scroll to the end to leave a reply, ask a question, or just say hello.

And if you liked this post, please give it a share.

Blessings, Annette


Photos: WikiImages | Pixabay | CC0
References: Love Worth Finding, One Mission Society

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