Funny, the things that stick in my head…(Quotes in italics below, my take in parentheses)
- A line from “Imagination Movers,” the latest Nick and Kate video fad: “We had a problem, but we figured it out!” (Isn’t that, by God’s grace, true of most of our problems? How quickly we forget the last solution when the next problem arises!)
- An editor’s comment over dinner at a writers’ conference: “My mom worries all the time, so I told her, ‘Mom, worry does not burn calories!’” (This makes a good point. Worry never does any sort of good.)
- A line from my pastor’s Ky’s recent sermon: “We are here to serve, not to solve…We can’t be God in another person’s life.” (How often do we get all wrapped up in worry about how someone else’s life is turning out, and about how we can fix it?)
- From Pastor Matt: “Anxiety is an enemy of intimacy with the Lord.” (Now that’s convicting!)
- Paul to Timothy: “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear.” (Typical Paul. Blunt. True.)
- David Jeremiah (paraphrased): “What we’re really saying is our version of, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, and I’m going to fail this test.’” (What’s your version of Psalm 23?)
- Uncredited, but probably my lifegroup leader: “What you worry about most is what you trust God with least.” (Ouch.)
So what are we to do?
- Father Tim in a Mitford book: “‘Don’t worry about it.’ That sounds trite, but it’s what Jesus said!” (It does sound simple, doesn’t it? I suppose all obedience sounds simple, even though it isn’t always easy. But, Jesus did indeed say those words, and he always equips us to follow him.)
- Joseph Prince (in “The Real Story” via YouTube): “Look around, you’ll be distressed. Look within, you’ll be depressed. Look at Jesus, you’ll be at rest.” (That old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” speaks volumes in the title alone!)
- Paul Washer: “Preach the scriptures to your heart.” (Now that’s some serious worry-busting advice!)
- Oswald Chambers: “Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is!” (Enough said!)
I’m reading Mrs. Oswald Chambers, and my aim today is to urge you to do the same. It’s the story of Biddy Chambers, helpmeet to the man credited with writing My Utmost for His Highest. It recounts the life of faith that Oswald and his wife lived and explains how the famous devotional came to be. I’m savoring this book, reading a bit at a time in the quiet of each morning. It’s engaging, inspiring, full of history, and packed with wisdom. Let me share just a bit with you.
These quotes from My Utmost for His Highest remind me to renew my trust:
- How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear?
- It is God who engineers circumstances.
- God…gives strength…only for the strain of the minute.
These quotes from Mrs. Oswald Chambers have taught me once again that we serve God in all we do, even the simple things, and that we ought to be ready all the time to lay down our own agendas.
- Their day together still began in the early dawn hours with the Daily Light reading, prayer, and a cup of tea…Other people filled their days, but they remained mindful of each other. (p.115)
- Biddy ran a ministry open to interruptions throughout her life…Fortunately tea and soup could always be stretched. (p. 59)
- The secret to Biddy’s unflustered reactions to her lengthy to-do list and surprise visitors lay in her prayer time every morning. She gave God the day and watched it unfold in his timing with anticipation.
- Oswald’s teaching was plain: When you were not sure of what God wanted, examine the situation and your options and then do the next logical thing. (p.127)
Each time I open the book, I learn something new. Of course, the same is true of My Utmost for His Highest. I hope you will add that devotional to your reading list as well. Biddy and Oswald were missionaries no matter where they were. They took difficulty and discomfort in stride as they served. They loved deeply—both Christ and those He put in their path. What a description of life well lived!
And how was the world’s bestselling devotional born out of their efforts? I hope you’ll get a copy of Mrs. Oswald Chambers and see for yourself! You can click here to read more about the book. There’s even a free download of the first two chapters available at the bottom left corner of the site.