I don’t always read my favorite devotional anymore; I actually don’t faithfully read anything anymore. I just can’t focus on things like I used to be able to. I do read everyday, just not as intentionally as I used to.
A snippet of my favorite devotional showed up on my Facebook page a day or so ago and urged me to look it up in my old, dog-eared hardback book, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. I remember reading this particular entry before our tragedy and pondering its meaning. I also remember reading it after our tragedy and feeling overwhelmed by it.
I share it with you today with the hopes that you will share your thoughts with me and maybe help me find some insight into its meaning.
Receiving One’s Self In The Fires of Sorrow, June 25th
“What shall I say? Father, save me, from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” John 12:27-29, R.V.
“My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.
We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fire. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.
Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys my self. You cannot receive your self in success, you lose your head; you cannot receive your self in monotony, you grouse.
The way to find your self is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has not time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.” Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest
Now I think I know what most of this means, and I love it, as I almost always love anything Oswald Chambers has to say. The part that confuses me a bit is his wording “receive your self”. What do you think it means to “receive your self”?
Thank you, in advance, for sharing your thoughts with this overwhelmed and befuddled Christian!