“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”
― A.W. Tozer (1897–1963)
We don’t make the gradients for our growth in God; our Lord makes them.
Nobody can choose his or her growth direction or modulate his or her growth gains; our good Lord does it.
None of us really can make any contribution to the Kingdom of God that we haven’t already been previously prepared and equipped for. It is for God’s purpose we are utilised and we are equipped perfectly for the task – whether we think we are or not.
The person who’s been through most pain in their journey is the person most likely to be humble enough to know God’s true aim – to use us greatly, our Lord must first teach us. Teaching takes time. Teaching costs a lot in effort and pain.
To be blessed greatly is to be used greatly. These are intrinsically connected and linked. But there is a precursor to being blessed, as Tozer puts it.
This is the hope that anyone who’s going through the struggle of their life needs to hear. If we are really for God, we will see that we will need to learn resilience for resolve and poise to work under pressure. God can only teach us by taking us through some very ugly life experiences. We would be prideful and foolish to think a sinner’s heart could be used to do God’s holy work. No, God must purge us of our pride and folly first.
The cold hard truth about discipleship is we follow a Lord who suffered so greatly – a human being, also fully divine, who learned through bitter experience what his Father knew would be required of each of us.
God is certainly no hard taskmaster, for there is no mandate to suffer. We can easily go through life running every day from suffering; yet we will suffer more as a result. No, God offers us the opportunity to learn through our bitter experience; to learn that resentment serves no purpose, but humble submission gives us intimate access to the empathy of God.
“It’s not about you,” Rick Warrens says. When we get our heads and hearts around the idea that life is about God, life begins again, and life takes on significance. The less important we are, the more important God is, the better God makes our lives.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.