Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Introduction to The Death of JI Packer +

    INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ___ to John Owen's The Death Of Death in the Death of Christ ___ By J.I. Packer _________ Read More
  • An Interview with Os Guiness on the 25th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer's Death-Justin Taylor, 2009 +

    Next week (May 15) will be the 25th anniversary of the death of Francis Schaeffer, who died in his home Read More
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When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
- John Milton, “On His Blindness”


If you’ve taken a high school or college British literature class, you’ve probably heard of John Milton. This seventeenth-century poet composed two of the most famous epic poems in the English language: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, which relate Adam and Eve’s introduction of sin into the human story, followed by Christ’s redemptive victory over that sin.

Milton’s achievements are all the more impressive when one takes into account that by the time he crafted these works, he was blind. His blindness was so advanced that he would compose his poetry but then had to rely on others to write down the words he dictated.

The sonnet “On His Blindness” reveals some of Milton’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his vision. Milton begins with a difficult question, one that the biblical Job would have understood well: Why would God give such wonderful talents with which to serve him, only to take them away? Clearly, Milton was deeply gifted. More importantly, he was passionate about using his gifts to bring glory to God. So how could God expect service if Milton could no longer see—physically, but also metaphorically—how to use those gifts?

The second half of the sonnet offers a profound answer: Milton’s service was not the point. Milton’s poetic talent, and his use of that talent, were not the point. “God doth not need / Either man’s work or his own gifts”—rather, God looks for hearts that are willing to serve him whether or not things make sense. The King of Kings has vast resources at his disposal to accomplish whatever he wants. Action is not what he most desires from us. He wants our hearts, our love and trust, and our full abandonment to his will—even when that will looks counterproductive to our finite eyes. Whether we go on to write one of the greatest poems of all time, or our service remains hidden until Christ’s return, we, too, can serve if we also take the time to “stand and wait” for whatever and wherever he leads.

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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