Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Sing, O barren one!”
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, yet there are times when we feel barren. Prayer is lifeless; love is cold; faith is weak; each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition, what are we to do?
This text is addressed to us in just such a state. “Sing, O barren one, open your mouth and sing aloud!” But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of his visitations in times past. And if I can’t think of any times when he came to me, I can magnify the great love that he has shown to his people when he came from the heights of heaven to accomplish their redemption.
I will go to the cross again. I’ll remember that it was there my great burden was relieved. Perhaps that very cross which then gave me life will give me fruitfulness now! What is my barrenness but a platform for his fruit-creating power! What is my darkness but the dark, black velvet upon which the sapphire of his everlasting love can be displayed? So, I will go to Jesus—in poverty, in helplessness, in all my shame and backsliding–, and I will declare that I am still his child. With confidence in his faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing aloud.
Sing, believer, for it will cheer your own heart and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for, now that you are ashamed of being barren, you will be fruitful soon! Now that God makes you loath to be without fruit, he will soon cover you with clusters of grapes. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for our fruit is found in him. [M&E]