The premise I am following throughout
this book is that the more willing we are to face our grief, the
more we will see the Lord turning things that initially bring us
much distress into blessings further along our pilgrimage – although
we may only be able to appreciate this when we look back on it
This applies right across the board
from the seemingly mundane to the really serious. When she was a
young girl, Amy Carmichael used to look into the mirror and pray
that the Lord would change her brown eyes into sparkling blue ones.
She was very upset when this did not happen – but many years later
she was grateful that she had brown eyes, because they made it so
much easier for her to integrate into the Indian culture.
After completing his medical
training, Dennis Burkitt found himself unable to obtain a surgical
post in the UK because of the result of an injury, which had left
him with only one eye. After all, who would want to employ a
one-eyed surgeon? Far from allowing this disappointment to crush
him, he followed the Lord’s leading and went to Africa, where he
became famous for describing what became known as Burkitt’s lymphoma
(the most common cancer amongst children in sub-Saharan Africa), and
for discovering the importance of fibre in our diet.
The example of this outstanding
surgeon and missionary doctor reminds us of God’s challenge to Moses
to understand how sovereign He is over all our affairs.
makes a person’s mouth?
Who decides whether people speak or do not speak,
hear or do not hear, see or do not see?
Is it not I, the Lord?
Now go! I will be with you as you speak,
and I will instruct you in what to say. Exodus
Depending on how secure we
are as people, how far advanced we are along the path
towards grief resolution, and perhaps also on how confident
we are in God’s sovereignty over the situations we find
ourselves in, we are likely to respond in very different
ways when major difficulties come our way.
Some of us find it relatively easy to
trust, while others are inclined to object and put up a fight:
“Lord, I couldn’t possibly do that,” we protest – although our
arguments usually fail to impress anyone except ourselves. Even
Moses only got so far when he pleaded with the Lord to send someone
It is profoundly reassuring to
remember that the Lord knows all about our physical, spiritual and
emotional limitations. So far from putting Him off, He almost seems
to prefer doing His greatest work despite our weakness. Best of all,
He starts in enough time to get us to His destination. He even takes
our “detours” into account!
Reflect and Pray
When the angel brought Mary the amazing news that she was going to
be with child despite being a virgin, her initial reaction was very
much what yours or mine would have been: “How can this happen?”
(Luke 1:34). Are you facing one of those “how can this happen”
moments? If so, you can do no better than to respond as Mary did:
Let it be to me according to Your Word. Nothing is impossible to
Father, the more I yield to Your call,
and accept that You have made me the way that I am,
the better I will cope –
and the more glory You will have.
Come, Holy Spirit,
lover of my soul,
lead me by Your Spirit,
and work in me the works of Heaven.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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