Yesterday, when I read my daily devotional book, My Utmost For His Highest, I was encouraged and challenged like most days. The author, Oswald Chambers, says, “A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagle’s wings, but is a life of day-in and day-out consistency, a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:3)…It is a faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test.”
Scottish born Chambers, who in my head I just call Oswald or OC, has been encouraging me and challenging me through his daily reader for almost two decades. Even though he is long gone from this world, his wisdom and insight live on. He was only 43 years old when he died in 1917 from complications after having his appendix removed. Oswald, an artist, a dog lover, a lover of nature and books and lost souls, a minister, teacher, evangelist and Chaplin to soldiers in the war, died just before his first book went to print. His wife, Gertrude, who Oswald affectionately called “Biddy” which is short for the nickname he gave her, “Beloved Disciple”, dedicated the rest of her life to transcribing books from the notes she had taken from Oswald’s lectures and sermons. Overall she published thirty books with her husband’s name on each one. My Utmost for His Highest is his best seller and a constant source of inspiration in my life.
I have quoted Oswald a lot in my three and a half years of blogging. In the editing phase of my book, I had an assignment to obtain permission from certain publishers of certain authors I quoted — Oswald Chambers’ publisher was at the top of the list. I was back and forth with a gentleman by the name of Mr. Rock from Discovery House Publishers, who handled such requests. By the end of our interactions, I was so honoured to be granted the permission to use Oswald’s quotes and I considered the very kind and encouraging Mr Rock a new friend.
Anyway, back to yesterday’s reading, Oswald went on to say this about faith: “Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason— a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.” OC
Let’s read that last part again: “…one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.” It would be easy to have faith if having faith guaranteed success, if it meant never facing adversity, if it meant getting what you wanted, but that’s not how it works.
When Mike was first diagnosed with ALS, a couple of people told me that it couldn’t be God’s will for Mike to have this terrible disease and that we just needed to keep praying for God’s will and Mike would surely be healed. Well, I did pray everyday that God would heal Mike, but I also had faith to believe that whether Mike was healed or not, we were in God’s will and this is what His will looked like for us right then…whether we liked it or not.
This is faith: Believing that there is absolutely nothing God cannot do, even when He doesn’t save you from ALS (or in Oswald’s case, appendicitis). Walking with Him even when your legs are rendered useless. Trusting Him to make every decision in your life whether you like it or not. Knowing that for those who love Him, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) and He has your best interest at heart.
This is faith: Without a shadow of a doubt, He will see you through whatever He leads you
God is so much more interested in our souls than our cells. Our physical bodies just house us. Of course He cares about every aspect of our lives, but He loves who we are underneath it all. Redeeming our souls is His goal. The part of us that doesn’t parish; our souls—He sent His Son to save them. The body, along with the ALS or MS or cancer or whatever, just turns back to dust.
“There will come one day a personal and direct touch from God when every tear and perplexity, every oppression and distress, every suffering and pain, and wrong and injustice will have a complete and ample and overwhelming explanation.” Oswald Chambers
Only two weeks away from my book signing...I'm excited and nervous! My book signing is at Save-On-Food on Lougheed and 227st in Maple Ridge on Saturday, April 4 from noon to 4pm. Yes, I will have books to purchase there! If you can't make it, but would like a book, Facebook message me and I'll get you one. For those out of town, here is a link to my book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FFBkSS