“As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives.
There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (italics mine).
In reading this (and also reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis), I’m realizing more and more how God is using certain experiences in my life to reveal my stubbornness and ignorance in obeying His word and His command. I know that I worry. I know that I try to make my own very certain, very self-centered plans. I know that I don’t nurture friendships like I ought (or prune self-destructive friendships, for that matter). I’m realizing more and more that hurriedness, busyness, and a frenetic countenance were never a part of our Savior’s walk among us. By spending more time invested in a conversation, a person, a moment…we can define so much. Yet it seems that I much more prefer microwaveable conversation – something just to get my fill and move on to the next “interesting” thing.
To love others in such a revolutionary way – a way that causes us to pause – we honor God supremely. When we trust even the little decisions to Him – not living as a “practical atheist” – God is glorified. For nothing about us attracts us to men (or women) alone – God draws us near to others. When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us and will provide His blessing (whether that seems like a blessing in the near-term is not for us to worry about) and instruction.
So about that tyrrany of the urgent…how many e-mails should I be answering right now? The answer is none. I have several, but I know my work is done for today, and if God wills, I shall be ready to labor for Him tomorrow.
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” – James 4:13-17 (NIV)
Good night. CDL