June 25, 2011
“What shall I say? Father, save me, from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” John 12:27-29 RV
“My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow; He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.
We say that there ought to be no sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires, If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.
Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys my self. You cannot receive your self in success, you lose your head; you cannot receive your self in monotony, you grouse.
The way to find your self is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself; you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous; he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.” Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest
I sit on the windowed porch in the deep East Texas woods, watching the yard bunny hop in its leisure across the yard as the squirrel waits patiently on the chain-link fence to dash across the yard and fill up, as he did yesterday, in the birdbath. The bird feeder and the hummingbird feeder have been left for me to enjoy nature through these windows. Ebenezer watches and enjoys the movement and I snuggle into the overstuffed couch with my feet up on the ottoman to read the Word and Oswald on this June-day of 25 in this year 2011. To read, to meditate, to write, to pray – that is my task for this morning. One would never guess that this soul has been through any pain at all as I sit in such luxury, blessed by my friend’s generosity.
And yet as I listen to my life’s days, sorrows are the marrow of them. I often say that I have been called to minister to women because I have experienced most of the pains/sorrows/injustices/abuses a woman can experience and God has been faithful in allowing me to heal and find Him in those places. He has not only seen me through them, but in His faithfulness, He has allowed me to find joy in the midst of many of them, and definitely find joy and healing in the ending of them. And they have ended. I am blessed to have had these sorrows enter my life and then be removed. I am amazed as I look back and realize that. And yet, was that the purpose from His beginning?
One of the statements I make to my supporters is: I have lived where these women live, I have seen God’s hand and I share His faithfulness with them. I share with them His desire to hold them in the midst of the chaos and pain. I am a traveler on the other side of the chasm that shines a light in the darkness and cries, “Follow Jesus.”
I am blessed to be “nourishment” for the women that come across my path, as I am blessed by the people that have been “nourishment” for me on this life-path.
Today will be filled with more sharing. The young couple that I met in Germany now lives here in the US. I will visit with them today. I have walked through language learning with the young man, guided him back toward Jesus, guided the young woman toward Jesus, encouraged them in listening to God’s voice about their living situation, watched as they moved away from each other, planned a wedding, witnessed the wedding, witnessed their lives, spoke into their lives and even participated in their church wedding. Now they live here in Texas! When I met them, he was homesick. As I meet with them today, she is homesick. I know both of these ‘homesicknesses’ as it were – the deep ache, the off-centered feel, the confusion of foreign land.
Homesick for the USA, Homesick for Germany.
How will I encourage them in this place that God has them? I cry: Follow Jesus.
Your Mutating Missionary
and Ebenezer :)