May 19

“Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Luke 7:23

It is sometimes very difficult not to be offended in Jesus Christ. The offenses may be circumstantial. I find myself in a prison-house—a narrow sphere, a sick chamber, an unpopular position—when I had hoped for wide opportunities. Yes, but He knows what is best for me. My environment is of His determining. He means it to intensify my faith, to draw me into nearer communion with Himself, to ripen my power. In the dungeon my soul should prosper. The offense may be mental. I am haunted by perplexities, questions, which I cannot solve. I had hoped that, when I gave myself to Him, my sky would always be clear; but often it is overspread by mist and cloud. Yet let me believe that, if difficulties remain, it is that I may learn to trust Him all the more implicitly—to trust and not be afraid. Yes, and by my intellectual conflicts, I am trained to be a tutor to other storm-driven men. (Streams in the Desert)

For reasons completely outside my control, my flight from New York to Dallas-Ft. Worth was delayed more than an hour, which meant I would likely miss the connection to my final homeward flight. Without intending to eavesdrop, I detected growing anxiety in the voices of those seated nearby as the time drew close to land. It seemed that everyone was in the same boat, or plane, as it were—no one would have an easy go of it. A stewardess walked the narrow center aisle and attempted to calm one distraught passenger by explaining that 85% of those onboard were in jeopardy of missing connecting flights, but that did little to lessen the palpable anxiety on the plane. As we landed, a mad scramble ensued, with most grabbing their belongings and jostling position for the quickest exit possible. The malaise may best be describe as chaotic, but the self-centeredness-on-display was equally offensive. Although I, too, had a narrow window to make my flight, I decided to sit and wait my turn rather than join the angry lava flow.

Choosing to wait on the Lord and submit to His way and will is not fatalism, nor is it the coward’s way out. Great courage is required in order to lay down the urge toward preference, prejudice, and self-preservation. Selflessness is the order of the Kingdom. Choose you this do whom you will serve, and make certain that it is not yourself.

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