As I was scraping food from my plate after a very filling dinner, a thought came to me. “Why do I complain about all the things I don’t yet have? I have so much extra that what is becoming my trash, men would kill each other for!” I’ve somehow convinced myself that I’m entitled to the blessings of God, and am not to ever be counted as one of those that should suffer.
For some time now conflict has been waging war in my heart and mind over this issue. My heart tells me that God should be showering me with continual blessings; while in my mind I’m reminded of the scripture, “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” But again I’m conflicted with emotions of selfishness. “God, why must I suffer? Haven’t I already suffered enough? Do you need more “I’m sorry’s” for all the wrongs in my life? Maybe you’ve just given up on me. Or maybe sometimes you’re just not a very reliable God.”
I don’t like myself for thinking these thoughts, they only add to the pain of the situation. Because once thought, I feel like I have something new to repent over, and am possibly becoming even more of a disappointment to God. Once again selfishness wants to take its place in my life and try to convince me, “God is the one who is wrong, He should be telling me He’s sorry for the situation that He has let me fall into” and then I repent again.
Could this perhaps be the place God wants me? How is it that He could say, “when you weep, you will learn to rejoice, when you are broken, you will be made whole. When you go into the furnace, you will come out pure as gold. Unless you die, you won’t live.” These are words I don’t want to hear, not to mention experience. It’s so hard to die, and the taste of salty tears are bitter; but until I can let his gentle hand come into my life and cut out what’s causing the pain, I’ll never really live! The words of Jesus are a sweet reminder in these times of darkness. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Because I know God’s ultimate plan for me is not destruction but life, I’m a little more willing to let the tears fall, without letting the feeling of giving up overwhelm me.
The psalmist David said something that struck me when I read it. I understood for the first time what it really meant; “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When I looked up the word “delight” in the Greek, I was shocked! It simply means, “to be soft or pliable.” So if God is going to get me to where I can truly receive from Him, I must first learn how to delight (become broken) in Him.
This is where I imagine Abraham being when God told him to take his son up on the mountain, and there, offer him as a sacrifice. How could Abraham say to his servants, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship? ”Worship!?” Now that’s true delight in brokenness! So by Abraham’s example of delighting himself in the Lord, in that he was willing to give what was most precious to him; I too will learn how to delight myself in the Lord, as He takes me through the process of brokenness.