The Explanation For Our Difficulties

God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy.
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

The Angel of Death

I had only ever seen his handy work from a distance. His signature was unmistakable. The Angel of Death was nothing if not a craftsman. This time was different. Dying before my eyes was a man I loved. I’m not ashamed to say it. Throughout a boy’s life he’ll have many friends, mentors, and bosses, but only one dad.

The scene was familiar, the hospital bed, the beeping monitors, the inescapable smell of antiseptic. The situation was different. This stay wasn’t a mere inconvenience or temporary station. We had come to say goodbye.

In the same way that death unifies the human experience it also acutely exposes our difference. While death’s footsteps echoed in the hall everyone said goodbye in their own way. Many said it with tears and sobs. Others said it with a faint smile remembering a special moment or one of his famous jokes. Others still hung back not saying anything though their eyes spoke for them.

Quiet fell on the room as death made its grand entrance. Dad’s face grew pale and his breaths became shallow. The angel of death carries with it an atmosphere of sorrow. The air in that little room became dark and heavy. Clouds began to form and realization rained down. Death paused for a second to bask in its native habitat.

Before the darkness could dominate the air a note rang out. More notes followed, forming into a beautiful melody. Praise and worship to the Holy One washed over me, the room, death himself and flowed out into the hallway. Heaviness lifted, the clouds fled, and death hastened its step no longer enjoying the moment.

As the singing continued death took dad’s hand. If you weren’t paying close attention you might not notice the shallow breathing stop. The singing died and a quiet somberness filled the room. Its job done, death turned to leave.

As we stared on in silence at dad’s hospital bed it was transformed from a barren wasteland to fertile ground and what began to bloom was absolutely glorious. Bright and radiant dad sat up slowly. His eyes focused on the brilliant angel of life who had quietly entered the back of the room. What it lacked in pageantry the angel of life made up for in power. Hoping down and without a look over his shoulder dad took the angel’s hand.

Deprived of Light

Hear me Lord
My spirit cries out
It cries out for your light
It cries out for your face Lord

My heart and my mind
Have conspired against my spirit
To deprive it of your presence
To starve it and kill it

My mind blasts its light
But it’s light is really darkness
A murky pool of confusion and fear

My heart chases its own desires
Consuming the delicacies of the world
Not the nutrients my spirit needs

Victorious Lord hear my cry
Pierce my mind and heart
Render them useful to you again
Sensitive to your touch and leading

Fully Resurrected

Inside each of us
Is a place we’ve forgotten
A place where we’ve buried
Hopes, Dreams, Innocence, Love
All dead and buried deep inside

When Jesus rose again
He promised resurrection
to all those that believed.
But is that resurrection partial
Does Jesus resurrect zombies

Not in the least
His resurrection is whole
and it is complete
He resurrects
Our Hopes and Dreams
Our Innocence and Love

All thats required
Is that you roll away
the stone from your heart

Deep wells

We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God…..
We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him.

Oswald Chambers – The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

Let the past sleep

Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, “Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change that. But get up, and let’s go on to the next thing.” In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.

Oswald Chambers – Taking the Initiative Against Despair

If we could hear one thing let us hear, “Get up, and do the next thing.”

Nourishment

Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing with which to feed them (John 21:17). The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people’s souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely— to the very last drop. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God…

Oswald Chambers – Are you exhausted Spiritually?

I think of it in terms of babies. My wife and I have joked that our kids are sucking the energy out of us. And to a certain extent it’s true. Infants are completely unable to care for themselves and even as they get older while they can do more on their own, they still require lots of attention and energy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m trying to draw a comparison.

If we’re not mature Christians, then we are effectively draining Christians and as odd is may sound we need to grow to become the drained. Thats the only way to reproduce.

Speak Lord

Too often we let our circumstances overwhelm us. Here’s another option.

Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.”

Oswald Chambers – The Dilemma of Obedience

Worry Smell

I worry constantly. I worry about my job, my kids, my home, my things, well I think you get the picture. But is worry something that should be part of the Christian life?

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you….

Matthew 6:25-30

I’ve probably known the above verse most of my life. But there’s a difference between knowing and knowing (you know what I mean). As I was worrying this morning I realized (or better the Holy Spirit revealed) that worry is a smell. A smell is a symptom of a much deeper problem.

That begs the question, “What’s the deeper problem?”. That I believe is self-suffiency. When we worry, we are focused on our own ability to provide, instead of God’s ability to provide. Perhaps then that implies the deeper problem.

… Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:30-34