From Oswald Chambers:
“Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a “darkness” that comes from too much light— that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11).”
There is so much to glean on this paragraph. Here’s what jumps out at me:
-There’s a darkness from too much light.
-Never try to help God fulfill His word.
-The years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure.
-Quit pretending life is sunny—wait and be grounded.
God put me in a job I never would have picked for myself. I was a caregiver for five years for a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. Over the years I came to treasure her and the lessons I learned about depending on God. But I started out with a grumbling spirit—arguing often with God about what a waste of my time and talents this job was. She didn’t want me there. Never said my name. Was cross and cantankerous on a daily basis. What on earth could be the point of this?
I learned to wait. I learned a new selflessness. I got still. I listened. I saw God in new ways. Providing care became a passion. Anticipating someone else’s every need became my delight. I was in tune with God and another person and it changed me—for the better and forever.
This time of incubation prepared me, readied me, as moved back into church ministry. Before the caregiving time of learning, I was a broken mess. That time of learning didn’t magically put the pieces back into place. No, my restoration resulted in the creation of a whole new creation.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5, ESV)
What discipline is God using to make you new? How is he reshaping your life into something new he can use?