When he was in grade school, my youngest son would often look at a hard school assignment and say, “That’s impossible.” I realize that I sometimes say the same thing about situations that enter my life as an adult. This little word from F. B. Meyer has helped me:
“…if only we would meet every call, difficulty, and trial, not saying, as we so often do, ‘I shall never be able to go through it,’ but saying, ‘I cannot’ but Christ is in me, and He can,’ we should find that all trials were intended to reveal and unfold the wealth hidden within us, until Christ was formed within us and His life manifested in our mortal body (Colossians 1:27).” (F. B. Meyer. The Secret of Guidance. Chicago: Moody Press, n.d., p. 43)
Every troubling and testing experience we face leads to a basic question: where am I looking? If I am looking at my capabilities (or, more often, my lack of capabilities), I will be tempted to either self-deprecation or self-reliance. Both are too small to weather the most challenging storms that attack us. Father, somehow teach me that my best first glance is to You. Christ, You are in me. What could be more true, more real, more powerful than that simple fact?
“You may be a prodigal or inconsistent child, but you are a child. If you were wise you would take the child’s place at the Father’s table and enjoy His smiles. They await you. But if you still remain out in the cold, as the elder brother in the parable did, you do not alter the fact that your place is ready for you to occupy when you will.” (Meyer, p. 48)
The words that describe what kind of child I am—obedient or disobedient, loyal or disloyal, godly or ungodly—do not change the fact that I am a child of a loving Father Who longs to enjoy fellowship with me. There is always a chair for me at my Father’s table. There is never a time when I am not invited to come, taste and eat of what He is providing me. Neither greedy excess or cold pride removes my seat from His table. But coming to Him always involves leaving something. Am I willing to leave so I can come?
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