Which one of us would want to volunteer to learn lessons from someone we don’t like or respect? We’re talking about someone that has an attitude we don’t appreciate. Which one of us would volunteer to learn a lesson from someone who rubs our failures in our face, or isn’t gracious in the way they “teach” us? They may appear to be the least likely person we think we should have to tolerate teaching us something. But do you think that God could and can use them to do so? Yes… He will.
Remember what God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9. God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are my ways your ways…“ Sometimes it’s humanly impossible to understand God’s ways concerning certain things He allows or even causes to happen.
Lessons Delivered From Unwanted Resources
We can see throughout time that God has used enemies of His people to teach them things they wouldn’t listen to or know in any other way. He used people who even mocked HIM, to carry out His missions. I’ll NEVER understand that, this side of heaven. And dare I say that He uses even our spouse (and/or others), when they are the least likely ones we would want to learn from? I’ve seen this repeatedly, both in my own life and in the life of others.
There’s something written by Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest that opened my mind to this. Yet even after reading this, I still struggle sometimes. But as former missionary Elisabeth Elliot once said, “When I hear someone say they are struggling with something, it is usually found that it is a case of delayed obedience.” And that’s true with me at times.
In a chapter titled, The Commission of the Call, Oswald Chambers wrote about being true Christ followers. He wrote how God sometimes uses people and events —that we least expect He would use. He does this to help us to live as we are called. We especially pray you will read what he wrote with an open mind and heart.
“We make calls out of our own spirituality, but when we get right with God He brushes all this aside. He rivets us with a pain that is terrific to the one thing we never dreamed of. And for one flashing moment we see what He is after. And we say, ‘Here am I send me‘ (Isaiah 6:8).
“This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification. It has to do with being made into broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, ‘If God would only use His own fingers, and make us broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!’ But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object.
“Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine (as God calls us to be), we will have to be crushed. You cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.
“I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you?
Trying to Escape Lessons
“Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God. Let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children as well.”
It’s especially relevant that Oswald Chambers also wrote the following that brings this point home even further.
“A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see. He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says, ‘I cannot stand any more.’ God does not heed. He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. ‘Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him.’
“Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know HIM.”
We don’t know what God is doing in your life, and in your marriage. But we pray most of all that you will trust in His love for you. May you do this even though He may be crushing you like grapes, or pouring you out like wine, or stretching you as a bow and arrow. We pray you trust Him even though He is taking your through a time when you cannot understand it. Even if the strain of it is more than you think you can stand at times — we pray you will trust Him because you know His heart.
We Pray for You
We pray that you will trust God even if He uses your spouse to say something to you, and even if it is said in a way that enrages you. Pay attention to that, which is “right” that may be hidden within the wrong way your spouse is presenting it.
Lastly, author Stormie Omartian wrote something that’s important to note. The following is found in her powerful book, Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage:
“We have to get to the point in our marriage where we live with a repentant heart all the time. We are to have a heart that says, ‘I am willing to see my errors, and no matter how I have been offended by the things my spouse has done, I will clean house on my own soul. I will pray to have eyes to see the truth about myself before I pray the same for my husband (wife).”
Lord, please open the eyes of our hearts that we may see you. “Search me O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.“ (Psalm 139:23-24)
Blessings in Him,
Cindy and Steve Wright
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