I was reading a chapter in Emotional Purity (by Heather Arnel Paulsen…GET IT!) today and although she was specifically referring to marriage and relationships, God totally showed me that this applies to me right now in areas unrelated to marriage/relationships.
Here’s the excerpt from the book:
We must repent of thinking that this season of our life is too hard or that anything in life is too difficult. God will not give us more than we can handle (1 Cor 10:13; Phil 4:13). God calls us to lay aside foolish and selfish thoughts, to press on, to push through, and to fight the good fight. God desires that we find contentment in Him alone. Once we come to a place where we lay aside our expectations of God, contentment will find us.
I have not been content in many of the things God has been taking me through, showing me and dealing with me on lately. I’ve wanted to quit; I’ve said I wasn’t able to handle it. I’ve asked for breaks. And even now I’ve been saying, “tell me!” “show me!” asking “why do I have to not have this or that?” “Why do I have to do this?”…
The real question is why not me? I am nothing. God is everything! How can I tell him that I don’t want to experience something with my limited knowledge?
I’m still wondering how do I get to the place where I count my life as nothing as Paul did (Acts 20:24)?
That is a phenomenal stance! And God wants us ALL to take that stance!
God I am nothing. I know nothing. My life is worth nothing apart from you!
This pastor, Matt Chandler, recently had to have a 5 hour surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. Can you imagine the thoughts he battled when he first learned there was a tumor and of all places, on his brain!? I’m sure thoughts of death, brain damage and all types of things went through his mind. But here are some amazing words he posted on his blog the night before his surgery:
I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.
He later thanked God for a number of things. Amongst the list, this one stood out the most to me. This man thanked God for “The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.”
Wow! Did this dude just call this “a privilege?!”
I believe this is a real life, modern day example of what our perspective of all of life’s challenges, whether big or small, should be. Yes, they are inevitable. So I just pray that when my time of greater struggle, pain, or suffering comes, and even as I deal with things now, I will be able to handle it with the right perspective. That I won’t be caught up in my afflictions, but in the cause of Christ which is to bring all Glory and honor to His name, both now and forever more.
Matt Chandlers Full Blog Post: http://northway.thevillagechurch.net/blog/hvpastor/