Oswald Chambers and Me on Suffering. I Need a Fan, Please!

By Nancy Flory Published on July 5, 2018

“God, why do I have to deal with one more thing?” I prayed this weekend. In addition to a bout of anxiety, some depression and a ton of homework and papers to write, my body began showing signs of going through “the change.” I’m not ready for this. I don’t have time for this. I certainly don’t have the energy for it. 

For Pete’s sake, I still have a four-year-old.

Chambers Speaks to My Heart

This morning’s devotional by Oswald Chambers spoke directly to my heart. Chambers was a Scottish evangelist who preached in the United States and Japan. He also ministered as a chaplain in Egypt to British Troops during World War I. He’s the author of My Utmost for His HighestIn the devotional for today, Oswald addressed suffering:

As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. … Sin, sorrow, and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

It is only through our sorrow and difficulties that we find ourselves, he continued, so we can be better and help others. It is only through my suffering that I can be clay in the Potter’s hands. That I can be a vessel He can fill, pour out and use for others. That I can be a servant to those whom God wills to reach.

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Paul says the same thing to Timothy. “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). Not avoid or complain, but endure.

I know my sufferings are miniscule. They are nothing compared with what the saints have endured for Christ’s cause. Some people in the offices around me at Life Outreach International are going through a lot worse trials. But they’re not small to me. They won’t be small to a four-year-old who needs his mom in tip-top shape.

Why do I do? I can complain β€” and be useless. Or I can endure for God’s glory, fulfilling the ministry He has set out for me to do. I can pray he protect me so that I remain what He created me to be.

Thanks be to God. And would somebody get me a fan?

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