A late entry written just after reading from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 25.
“If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.”
Soon after my wife and I were married, I expressed an interest in “being more than an …”.The detail of what I was doing, or wanted to do, is irrelevant; what is relevant is that God granted me that request but ultimately it has led to sorrow, and hopefully finding myself,and God’s plan for my life.
One of the things that my wife and I have discussed, and she was not sure how she felt aboutwhat I was saying, was my belief that God/Christ, until He became human like us, could notidentify with our situation. He did not know what it was to be hungry, tired, sick, in pain,etc. Now that He (Christ) knows, He is indeed the perfect intercessor because He can turn to the Father when we lose our patience, or whatever, due to pain, hunger, cold, etc. and say”Father, please forgive your child. I know what it’s like to hurt, to be tired, to be hungry,to be sick, to feel abandoned.”
My point here is that until, and unless, you (or I) actually experience a particular type of tragic event, or loss, we cannot possibly empathize with someone who is experiencing,or has experienced, that type of sorrow or pain. God has called me to a place, and througha valley, where I lost my job, my house, my money, many of my possessions, etc. and there is stillno end in sight. However, I have learned more about myself, some of which I did not like,and my relationship with my wife is improving. Additionally, my faith is being strengthened… although it’s not always pleasant. It’s much like exercising; you get stronger throughsome sort of physical pain or discomfort.
Os Hillman, in his book The Upside of Adversity, refers to these times as”Joseph and the Pit” experiences. Not enjoyable, perhaps not even understandable, but(hopefully?) necessary in order to prepare one for a service to Him that is unlike anyever imagined. So, I hold onto the hope/belief that I am being prepared forsome sort of ministry/service that will require me to be able to empathize with more than I was able when life was good.