And what the men of this world miss,
The drops and dews of future bliss.
~ Henry Vaughan, “The Revival”
Oswald Chambers was a preacher whose ministry took him around the world in the early part of the 20th century. More than 100 years after his death in 1917, he remains well known for his teaching, as his words were compiled posthumously into some 50 books by his wife, Gertrude. His most popular book is My Utmost for His Highest.
At the outset of his ministry, Oswald Chambers lived through years of spiritual dryness and inner turmoil, an experience he himself described as “dark moods of the mind” and “this dark strife.” Though he was a sought-after preacher as well as a teacher at his alma mater, The Gospel Training College in Dunoon, Scotland, he almost gave up on his faith. But God wouldn’t let him go.
In his inspiring biography of Chambers, author David McCasland tells of three times God spoke to his fledgling servant during this turbulent time.
Once, Chambers was sitting in his room at the college late at night when his dog Tweed jumped in through the open window, put his head on Oswald’s knee, and looked up into his eyes. Then, just as suddenly, he was gone.
A second time Oswald was in his room with the door open when the baby boy of the house padded in barefoot, in his pajamas and ready for sleep. He marched up to the room’s occupant, said, “Mr. Chambers, I loves you,” then turned and went back to his bed.
Finally, while Chambers was teaching at a Christian gathering, a mentally disabled girl walked down the aisle toward him and laid a small bouquet of wilted flowers on the table. With the flowers was a note: “With love from daft Meg.”
As McCasland describes it, “Each event seemed to be a tender touch from the Father conveying His presence and love.” *
Notice the simplicity of these moments, and yet they had a profound impact on Chambers. He was able to move beyond his dark night of the soul and into a place of peace with God and complete trust in him.
I believe God pours into each of our lives evidence of his love, these sometimes small drops and dews of future bliss. I want to be a story collector, one who collects these stories and shares them here with you.
In the weeks ahead, I will begin by sharing the love notes found in an autumn leaf, a child’s words, and the bells of a basilica. I trust these three stories are the first of many. You may send your stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They should be somewhere between 500-1,000 words. I can’t guarantee publication, but I do promise to try to read and respond to every story that lands in my mailbox. I enjoy nothing more than reading stories about God’s love.
* McCasland, David. Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1993, p. 84.