The Brook Besor

An explanation:  During November I am embarking on the NanoWriMo project, to get my latest book, THE SCENT OF WATER, under way. It’s a year’s worth of daily devotionals for the first year of bereavement - read the introduction HERE.  It will soon move to a new website (Grace2Help) In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, this is unedited, a first draft; we just keep writing!

Grant grace ? And comments and suggestions are most welcome.


This week’s daily thoughts are based on the story of King David and his men after the attack on Ziklag, in 1 Samuel 30. They had lost everything – their homes destroyed, their families taken away. They were devastated.



David and his men wept aloud until they had

no strength left to weep.

1 Samuel 30:4 

It’s our normal reaction to grief – tears rain down until we are exhausted. Then we weep again.

These men wept together. Lord, I need someone to weep with me today.

Let my tears be a reminder to me of how much I loved and was loved, and a reminder to be grateful for that love.



But David found strength in the Lord his God

1 Samuel 30:6

Confronted with disaster, bereft and lonely, David did the only thing he could: he went to the Lord. He’d lost his wife and children, his companions were blaming him for the disaster, and he felt totally alone and misunderstood.

Lord, that’s how I feel:  alone and devastated by my grief. Will you strengthen me today?



Then David said to Abiathar the priest…

1 Samuel 30:7 

After resting in the Lord, David turned to a friend - he called on his pastor for spiritual advice.  Sometimes talking with a trusted friend or with a wise pastor, can help to ease and to understand the grief.

Lord, show me who I should turn to. And when. Actually, Lord - please just send someone, nudge the right person into coming to me?



Then David asked the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:8 (NLT)

What shall I do, Lord? I feel lost, overcome, consumed by all that I am feeling today. There are decisions to make, things I have to do. Guide me, show me, help me.

And keep me in touch with you.



They came to the torrent Besor: and some being weary

stayed there.

1 Samuel 30:9 (Douay Rheims)

 Resting by the brook, too weary to go any further, worn out by grief. Allowed to stay, allowed to rest, allowed time to recover. I too am resting at the Brook Besor, needing time to recover. And that’s OK; I don’t have to do what I would normally do. I can have this time out for now. And that's such a relief to know.

Thank you Lord.



We share and share alike--those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment

1 Samuel 30:24 (NLT)

It is not a disgrace to have this time out. This is one of those times when I need to stay by the Brook Besor. David was generous to those who had stayed, exhausted and worn out; he treated them the same as those who had continued into battle.

God’s grace is a generous grace. HE understands, even if others don’t seem to.

Lord, thank you for allowing me this time at the Brook Besor. Thank you for undeserved grace.






NaNoWriMo – a way to write a novel in the month of November. 50,000 words by the end of the month – no editing, no procrastinating, just write. And have a first draft completed by the end of the month.

I signed up.

But not to write a novel. Nor to write 50,000 words. I have had on my heart from some time to put together a daily devotional, as an aid for the first year of mourning and bereavement. Just a verse and a few thoughts, for the times when mourning and grief mean that anything longer, anything deeper, is impossible.

For those days when finger-tip-hanging is by just one nail. When grief is all consuming, raw, inconsolable.

I know that. I have been there. For a full two years I have been there. There were times when I barely clung on. When hugs rubbed me raw, and consoling well-meant clichés rang false.

When God seemed far away. I was far away.

I could not read. Anything, let alone the Bible. When the depression and the blackness were all consuming and life was barely worth living.

I had Amy Carmichael's  "Edges of His Ways,” a book of short daily devotionals usually based on a verse of Scripture. Some days were good, comparatively, and I read the brief thought. But it was not specific enough, did not often touch my deepest cries. I needed something more, something very short but very intentional.

I decided to write it myself.

And NaNoWriMo has given the incentive and, if I’m honest, the kick you-know-where to get going. So here’s the plan.

Every day I will post what I am writing. And soon, very soon, I will set up a separate blog to be this devotional, this scent of water. It’s called Grace2Help and I will send you the link very soon.

I will be posting the links and we will see how we get on. Please add your thoughts, suggestions, comments. And please pray.  For my prayer is that this devotional will one day help someone. If it’s only one, it will be worth it.

The book of Job and the telling of his suffering and bereavement  is probably one of the oldest books of Scripture. It asks one of the oldest questions: Is there hope?

Is there hope for a tree cut down?


At the merest scent of water it will bud and grow new shoots again. (Job 14:7-9)

The scent of water. My prayer is for this new project to be the merest scent of water for someone else who feels like a tree cut down.