Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God’s Chisel

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Few devotional writers have inspired modern western man to the same degree as Oswald Chambers in his book, My Utmost for His Highest. Many do not know how this book came into being. Chambers was a great teacher and preacher but had published few writings at the time of his death in Egypt during the First World War, where he served as a chaplain to British troops. Instead of leaving great books behind, Chambers left a wife and three daughters with no father, no husband and no means to put food on the table. In order to take care of her fatherless girls, Biddy Chambers took her short hand notes that accurately followed her husband’s talks and published them. Thus, out of the pain of loss and the desperation of hunger came the greatest devotional book of the modern world. Thousands of men and women have surrendered their lives to deep service for Christ because of that book that was born in suffering. A father dies; his children are hungry; God grips the chisel and carves out a work that opens the ears of the Church.

Even as doctors, the privileged, the skilled, the resourceful, we face times in our lives where we are swept away by our pain. Such pain may be our own doing: our sin, our mistakes or our desire to be in control. We may simply suffer from a falling world that crashes down on us without reason and leaves us crying out in near hopelessness for ourselves or for someone we love. Those that cannot relate to such pain need but live a bit longer and then they will.

The point of the Gospel, the point of the Cross is this: all that is broken, all that is lost, all that may be tearing at our hearts just now, will one day be redeemed and made whole by the blood of Christ. And even now, the redemption has started. God does not waste our pain. If we trust in Him and lean on Him, he will take the greatest tragedies of our lives and use them as He could never have used our sunny days to bring the lost back home to Him, to make the broken whole in Him and to bring glory to His name.

Dear Father,
Please take my pain and use it mightily, as You did with the pain of your Son, Jesus. Lift me from this suffering if you choose. But use it, use it, use it to bring Your world home to you. In Christ alone, Amen.

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