Saturday, 13 October 2012

connect-the-dot thoughts...

A couple of months ago, I picked up a copy of My Utmost for His Highest for just twenty-five cents at a neighbourhood garage sale. I felt as though I had struck gold, and I had. This penny-bought classic by Oswald Chambers has proved to be priceless, page after page.

Don't you love how God works?! How He speaks to us about a certain thing over time, at very timely times. How He connects the dots of our thoughts through His ancient living Word, certain meetings with people, specific sermons, several songs, even... particular quotes from a book snagged at a sale. Oh, the divine involvement of His hand in the daily details.

It all started about a year ago, when He illuminated a sentence string of letters from Paul's letter to the Colossians. "May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to God." How does God's big power show up in my little life? His power shows up in my enduring with joy, in my being patient with gratitude. Really? God's power - that spun the planets into motion and spins them still now, that created and calmed the stormy sea with a word, that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead - that power manifests itself in my persevering with pleasure? Exactly! His power shows up when we show up to work whistling. His power stands out when we stand up to the difficulties of life with hope in our hearts. His power is displayed when we press forward, looking upward to Him Who is high above all, yet low to our call.

The next thought in the line of dots was a clever quote said at the perfect moment. Hundreds of kindred spirits at Kindred Community Church had just finished singing. For two straight hours, strings were strung, drums were drummed, and pianos were played. Voices were on high volume in victorious song! We sang and sang, anthem after anthem of praise to the Saviour of sinners, our Saviour. After the last song was played and sung, my dad said something that I needed to hear. He said, "Inspiration MUST lead to perspiration." He was jolting the church with the reminder that two hours of inspiring and inspired worship on a Sunday night must not end with the last song. Rather, it must fuel Monday morning. The words we had sung must be lived too. The tune in our hearts must be true, and tried and true in the mundane and mournful realities of life. How is this possible outside the walls of the church building? Because God is with us wherever we are, and He Himself is the worthy Subject in all settings.

God continued to play connect-the-dots with my thoughts as I read My Utmost for His Highest. This section glared with rare meaning and blared with application. He says,
"The secret of the Christian life is that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and that the experience of this works out in the practical details of life. Ministering as opportunity surrounds us does not mean selecting our surroundings, it means being very selectly God's in any haphazard surroundings which He engineers for us. The things that JESUS did were of the most menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God's power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done."
Jesus not only successfully endured with joy the greatest work of all - the crucifixion; He successfully endured the smallest work of all - the carpenter shop. Though we honour and love our Saviour for His nail-pierced hands; we also must love Him and follow Him for His splintered fingers. Let us follow His example, by His enabling - magnifying Him and ministering to others wherever we find ourselves. When it's dim, we must let His character colour in the grey. When it's dreary, we must invite His company liven up our's. When it's difficult, we must believe His power overflows into our joy and patience.

P.S. Sure, working this all out is a work-out. Like my dad said, it involves sweat. Thankfully though, He works in us and through us to make enduring with joy and patience possible.

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