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!
4 comments on “Asking for Your Thoughts”
Today in therapy I was dealing with the emotions of having to live in horror as a child.
Today I just sat at our Father’s knees, grabbing ahold of his “God clothes”, and allowed myself to feel the sadness of grief. He leaned over with one arm around my back, resting his head on mine, stroking my hair. I felt his sadness. His was greater because he grieved mine and the other’s grief. I couldn’t stay with him long. I just do not have the capacity to do so yet.
I do not know yet what it means to receive myself, but I do know that sitting with our Father will give me my identity as He continues to heal that infant part of me who never did learn anything good about myself.
So in this mess, I am learning what relationship means. It is much more vast and good than I can imagine.
When I was sitting with him, I thought of you. Oh how I wanted sit with you at his knees. You on one and me on the other.
I love you Leanne
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Thank you for sharing, Susan. Beautiful.
I have a very simple response Leanne. I have always said that losing a child does one of two things. Brings a person closer to God. Or. They chose to move away from Him. That does not mean we aren’t angry with God….or that we don’t want to question Him…or we like His will….but we accept it as His will. I would have to say, for me, I found depths of my faith and continue to in difficulty. I dont like it….in fact…I hate it. Makes me mad at myself. At God sometimes too. I don’t know if this even makes sense, but I fight growing close to God in tragedy…I get mad at Him. But eventually He gains my attention and I am closer than ever. And that is my choice. Finding my will in His.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Lorna. I truly appreciate them.