Archive for January 10th, 2023

Growth in the Gloom

Written by John Henry Jowett (1863-1923), a British preacher and author.


In one of my garden books, there is a chapter with a very interesting heading, “Flowers that Grow in the Gloom.” It deals with those patches in a garden that never catch the sunlight. And my guide tells me the sort of flowers that are not afraid of these dingy corners–may rather like them and flourish in them. And there are similar things in the world of the spirit. They come out when material circumstances become stern and severe. They grow in the gloom. How can we otherwise explain some of the experiences of the Apostle Paul? Here he is in captivity at Rome. The supreme mission of his life appears to be broken. But it is just in this besetting dinginess that flowers begin to show their faces in bright and fascinating glory. He may have seen them before, growing in the open road, but never as they now appeared in incomparable strength and beauty. Words of promise opened out their treasures as he had never seen them before. Among those treasures were such wonderful things as the grace of Christ, the love of Christ, the joy and peace of Christ; and it seemed as though they needed an “encircling gloom” to draw out their secret and their inner glory. At any rate, the realm of gloom became the home of revelation, and Paul began to realize as never before the range and wealth of his spiritual inheritance. Who has not known men and women who, when they arrive at seasons of gloom and solitude, put on strength and hopefulness like a robe? You may imprison such folk where you please, but you shut up their treasure with them. You cannot shut it out. You may make their material lot a desert, but “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”


Written by Nathaniel Simons, a contemporary author.

Thank you for the faults and areas for growth that allow us to depend ever so increasingly on You. You’ve aligned our path, destined us toward a special purpose, and called us to seek Your face on the journey toward fulfilling that purpose. Thank You for the mentors who light the way when our paths seem most dark. Thank You for buffering our weakness and inadequacies with men and women who have been there and have the wisdom to motivate us out of there.  As we progress in our purpose, we pray that you allow us to tune our ears toward wisdom and also lead others out of darkness and into light. Amen.


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