“There is seldom a period in which we do not know what to do, and we move through life in such a distracted way that we do not even take the time and rest to wonder if any of the things we think, say or do are worth thinking, saying, or doing. We simply go along with the many “musts” and “oughts” that have been handed on to us, and we live with them as if they were authentic translations of the Gospel of our Lord.” (Nouwen, Henri, The Way of the Heart, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1981, p. 21)
I have spent the last few years trying to discern which parts of me and my life are truly from the Lord and not just things I have picked up along the way and labeled “Christian.” I think it is critical to stop every so often and ask the hard questions. I may be working really hard to climb up the ladder of life, but am I sure it is leaning against the right wall?
I just love this picture. I “borrowed” it from the website of my friend, Paul Kiler (see his link to the right “Artis-Divina”).
For some reason it really strikes me. I see that girl as me…wearing my sweats…doing the day-to-day stuff…and trying be in the sanctuary at the same time. I don’t know what she is reading, probably the bible, searching for the Word of God. The sacrifice of Christ is clearly displayed above her head.
The picture just resonated down inside me somewhere. Do you see yourself here too?
This is the February 11 entry in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Hightest.
IS YOUR HOPE IN GOD FAINT AND DYING?
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 (R. V. marg.)
Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker’s life.
If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God, begin to do it now. It is no use waiting for God to come; you must put your imagination away from the face of idols and look unto Him and be saved.
Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, it will be one of the greatest assets to faith when the time of trial comes, because your faith and the Spirit of God will work together.
Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature – the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God.
Today I went to a memorial service for a 15-year-old. A group of teenagers, with a chaperone, were driving to Mammoth for ski week. One of the cars rolled and the 15- year-old was thrown out.
The dad who was driving the lead car turned around, got out of the car and made his way to the teenager just before he passed away. He had a chance to hold his hand as he died.
From the moment I stepped my foot out of the car and onto the church parking lot, tears welled up in my eyes. For the next two hours my tears would ebb and flow. But my grief was nothing compared to that of his parents and siblings.
At the start of the Memorial Service, the family walked in together. One of the most moving sights I have ever seen was the mother walking down the aisle to get to her seat. There were two men, one of them her husband, on either side of her. She was weeping and almost couldn’t make her way down the aisle. She looked as though she wanted to crumble into a heap onto the floor.
The grief of a mother. What other anguish is worse than losing your child? I am hard pressed to come up with a worse nightmare.
I find myself drawing a parallel to God the Father. Since we are in His image, I wonder if this mother’s grief is a glimpse into the grief of God as He watched His own Son suffer and die. I think that I have pictured God as grieving over His Son, but in a stoic, controlled manner. What does pure, holy grief look like? I’m not exactly sure, but I think I saw a glimpse of it today on the face of a mother.