Whatever life holds for you in this pandemic season of uncertainty, fear, and pain, know that hope is never lost, though it may be deferred.

In the promise of His presence we will trust.

Captain Allen Gardiner, the SAMS founder who died of starvation on a beach in 1851, trailblazed paths for the Gospel in South America. He experienced countless setbacks, including feverish sickness in the wilderness. The promise of God’s presence in the Great Commission gave him heavenly endurance and joy to the end, though he did not see the fruit of his efforts. After his death, missionaries inspired by his work sailed to South America on the sea vessel in this artwork, named The Allen Gardiner. His reward was always, and still is, the presence of God.

Stay tuned for more of Allen Gardiner’s remarkable story and SAMS Missionaries’ ministry of presence. Until then, be blessed by a poem from Gardiner’s journal:

Written at Pioneer Cavern, Tierra del Fuego
May 8, 1851

Sweet peace have they whose minds are stay’d,
Firm on the Rock in Zion laid;
No anxious cares disturb their rest;
Whate’er of earthly ills betide
Amid the storm, secure they ride,
Their souls in patience are possessed.

Children of Him whose watchful eye
Regards the ravens when they cry,
What need they fear or bode of ill?
They know their hairs are number’d all;
Nor can the smallest sparrow fall
Without their Father’s sovereign will.

Though all around is dark and drear,
Nor sun, nor moon, nor star’s appear,
And every earthly Cherith dries;
Faith bears the drooping spirit up,
And sweetens every bitter cup–
A bow in every cloud descries.

The Lord who gave may surely take,
The bruised reed He will not break;
He knows we are but dust.
The oil and meal alike may fail,
The whelming storm may long prevail,
Yet on His promise we will trust.

Whate’er in wisdom He denies,
A richer boon His grace supplies,
A peace the world can ne’er bestow;
Though nought remain, we ‘re not bereft,
What most we value still is left,
The Rock, whence living waters flow.

Then come what may, we’ll humbly wait,
His arm was never bared too late,
The promise will not, cannot fail,
Though dark the night, the morn will break,
His own the Lord will not forsake;
The prayer of faith shall yet prevail;
And we shall deem the trial sweet
That laid us waiting at His feet.

Read Part 2 of this series here.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons