Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspiration to me, from me, and around me~in The Fires of Sorrow

As usual, I find myself inspired by the words of Oswald Chambers in the time-tested My Utmost for His Highest. Oddly enough, the inspiration comes from the devotional for June 25th...don't ask me why...
"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," Chambers begins. His inspiration was John 12:27-28~ What shall I say? Father save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour, Father, glorify Thy name.
I have to say, every now and then, I get it. I realize that the stresses which play in my brain, and the questions about the future that tumble around in my heart~they are all there because God ordained them to be and He will, therefore, create the eventual resolutions. But, there are also the times when, rather than being inspired by God's intentional use of me, I feel more...perspired. I feel like a sweaty old t-shirt that has been wrung and wrung and wrung until everything that is needed out has been wrung out.
And that's when I stumble. When I lose my inspiration and turn to perspiration...I focus on how hard I've worked, how little I've slept, how much I've read, or wrote, or thought about this and that...When I focus on my efforts, then the Little Green Monster of Entitlement starts to speak in my brain:
Tammie, you work so hard...you deserve this...
Tammie, why should you always have to take the high road? They shouldn't talk to you that way...
Tammie, it's not really that big a deal...you work hard so you can play hard...
Oh, I tell you what, that Little Green Monster of Entitlement sure can make me forget what the point of "all this" is. As Chambers points out, "Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour but out of the hour."
Yikes!!! I think I need to put little post-its around my house that say, "Be Inspired, not Perspired" (Or is that too close to "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff?") It feels like when I'm called into battle on behalf of the Lord, I ready myself quickly with the Holy Armour and swoosh my sword and pound by breastplate like Tarzan~by why do I so quickly peel back the armour and expose myself to sin? I say, "Phew...made it through that one...now let's have some fun and forget about the One who helped me win that battle."
I guess that's a part of life...learning to keep the armour on, learning to become so strong, that the armour no longer feels like a heavy burden. I think the Inspiration is something we're supposed to learn by turning to God's Word every day to remind us that we are to go through the fire...that no prayers or petitions will douse the fire and make it smolder out...our prayers and God's Word are the strongest weapons we have to battle the fire and make it through.
Hopefully I've inspired both you AND me...Now, I have to go find some post-its and get to work shining up the armour...

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