I was sitting at the breakfast table when it happened… I realized (again) that all my current circumstances were aligned for me to learn from them, carefully sequenced and ordered to be read like a book to teach me a lesson, and if I’m willing maybe build something like character. Heaven forbid that life could be so simple… What? Good and bad all happen for a reason?
A young man who lives in my house who just turned 18 who shall remain nameless had spent all week sulking, moping and being generally disgruntled. Using every opportunity that he could to punish me emotionally for “ruining” his 18th birthday week by not doing enough, not throwing a good party, not making this the best birthday to make up for the less satisfactory ones. I felt appropriately terrible.
But at the same time I knew what he didn’t… Because I had spent weeks secretly planning to bring his girl to visit for his birthday week…
I sat at the table across from my brother who had went from wildly disgruntled to massively happy. While I listened to what My Utmost For His Highest had to say about the pretty girl and the selfish boy across the breakfast table from me and the high drama my brother and I acted out all week.
“As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. “
Oh, hey Ben. Maybe my secret plans for the best thing for you were better than what you imagined was best… You couldn’t see it but I was bringing the best gift you could ask for on a train!
” When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy “world within the world,” and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being “frost-bitten.” “
Oh hey, this is about my last relationship and why it ended he stayed in that place of disgruntled, self pity that my brother was in last week, unwilling to wait another day or week, to see what the bigger picture was…until it swallowed up hope in a better plan, our relationship, and at times himself.
Oh wait Daniele, maybe this isn’t about Ben or Jonni or God or Oswald Chambers maybe this is about you.
Then again the next day, right on schedule…
I read this page, in this book where over 100 years ago Oswald Chambers wife took the time to compile his lectures in a book so that I could right now, sit down at my breakfast table, years and miles away from where it started… Just this::
“If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, “I will only go to there, but no farther.”
Which we all know was written about my stubbornness and doubt.
I would like to say here something cute like, “Wow, that was unexpected and weirdly spiritual!” or “I don’t want to preach…” But maybe I do.