Dear Readers, Occasionally I receive things from people that are especially touching or touch my heart. I thought I would share with you one such thing I got this past week. This person (I assume a woman) is wrestling with some real life circumstances and she expresses her thoughts in a very real and transparent way. I have taken some of the more personal or identifying things out of her letter, but I think I have left its essence the same. For background you should know that what she is doing is responding to something she found by one of my favorite authors, Oswald Chambers. I frequently suggest the reading of My Utmost for His Highest, and this woman took me up on it. Here are her thoughts (in italics) that I share with you with her permission. If you are moved by what she writes, perhaps you would remember to pray for her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of “myself” that I would have apart from Him? The only thing that will enable me to enjoy adversity is the acute sense of eagerness of allowing the life of the Son of God to evidence itself in me. No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, “Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.” Instantly, the Son of God will move to the forefront of my life, and will manifest in my body that which glorifies Him. I don’t understand this. Is God evidencing Himself in me despite what I see? I see me as defeated and crumbling. I continue to go on, doing my best to honor and glorify Him each day but the weight of trial and adversity is heavy and discouraging to me. When does the Son of God display Himself in me? How is He doing so? Is He somehow glorified by my troubles? Is He somehow glorified by our inability to take care of our families needs? If so, it is all backwards to my thinking! You must not debate. The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity; but if you debate with God, you grieve His Spirit (see Ephesians 4:30). Is my talking to you about how I feel debating You? Again, how can you be glorified in such things? It is like explaining how You could be glorified in the Holocaust! I know that in some way, through the people you were, but it sure boggles the mind. My life looks like the opposite of everything I ever learned about what glorifies God. I have problems on my hands! I cannot provide for my family as I should be able to…If I stop and think about how wrong everything truly is in my life I would have quite a list and be very depressed over it. It is one thing to choose adversity, and quite another to enter into adversity through the orchestrating of our circumstances by God’s sovereignty. And if God puts you into adversity, He is adequately sufficient to “supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19). More interesting thoughts…pardon me God, I mean no disrespect, but how are you adequately supplying all my needs when I remain in this situation? This is what I do not understand. How You have put us in these circumstances, You ARE sovereign after all…again, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t see the adequate provision here. I don’t see the money I need for (removed)! Are those things not important? Are they not needed or even needs? I think they are, all of them!! All these things prevent me from living to sacrifice for others as Julie tells us to do. You must “work out your own salvation” which God has worked in you already (Philippians 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it “out”? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you. Well, that is a nice kick in the head. I am not sure what to think about this. To some degree, I AM miserable! I have all this unfinished business hanging over my head. It prevents me from being free to serve and minister the way I want to and desire to with all my heart.
God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter. First Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you … .” Rise to the occasion—do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body. I don’t know if I can do this Lord… May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others. Broken bread? Poured out wine? I dare not demand anything from God the Almighty. What is demanding? Is that different than asking? I think submitting to His will might kill me. But I think maybe that is the thing that is intended. God does not keep His child immune from trouble; He promises, “I will be with him in trouble …” (Psalm 91:15). It doesn’t matter how real or intense the adversities may be; nothing can ever separate him from his relationship to God. “In all these things we are more than conquerors …” (Romans 8:37). Paul was not referring here to imaginary things, but to things that are dangerously real.
The things in my life are dangerously real…financial troubles, inability to properly care for my child, the constant threat of financial ruin hanging over my head…all these things are real dangers to me. Knowing (her husband) something bad could happen to him, another threat. I have troubles….I am discouraged. How can I be a conqueror? And he said we are “super-victors” in the midst of them, not because of our own ingenuity, nor because of our courage, but because none of them affects our essential relationship with God in Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.
I don’t feel like a conqueror, I feel like a failure. Like Julie and other bloggers I read daily, we have enough problems and I would never wish for more. I don’t know how to wish for anything different. To ask for more troubles is crazy. I am waiting for God to make something good out of these things.