"'Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.' (Psalm 84:6) This teaches us that comfort obtained by a one may often prove serviceable to another; just as wells would be used by the company who came after. We read some books full of consolation, which is like Jonathan's rod, dropping with honey. Ah! we think our brother has been here before us, and digged this well for us as well as for himself. Many a 'Night of Weeping,' 'Midnight Harmonies,' and 'Eternal Day,' a 'Crook in the Lot,' a 'Comfort for Mourners' has been a well digged by a pilgrim for himself, but has proved quite as useful to others. Specially we notice this in the Psalms, such as at the beginning. 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul?' Travellers have been delighted to see the footprint of man on a barren shore, and we love to see the waymarks of pilgrims while passing through the vale of tears. The pilgrims dig the well, but strange enough, it fills from the top instead of the bottom. We use the means, but the blessing does not spring from the means. We dig a well, but heaven fills it with rain. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. The means are connected with the end, but they do not of themselves produce it. See here the rain fills the pools, so that the wells become useful as reservoirs for the water; labour is not lost, but yet it does not supersede divine help. Grace may well be compared to rain for its purity, for its refreshing and vivifying influence, for its coming alone from above, and for the sovereignty with which it is given or withheld. May our readers have showers of blessing, and may the wells they have digged be filled with water! Oh, what are means and ordinances without the smile of heaven! They are as clouds without rain, and pools without water. O God of love, open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing!" --Morning and Evening
Thank God for His clouds full of rain and pools full of water. How encouraging it is to know that the work is the Lord's, that He is the one who provides the means, gives strength to labor, gives grace for the work, and sends blessings from above. We thank God that, though it is our duty to use the means, it is God that produces the end. And that end is an expected end. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11) God knows the end from the beginning. Nothing is a surprise to God.