October 15, 2014

Your Disappointments? They matter.

Some excerpts from The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias

"Over the years, I have discovered that pain, like despair, comes not in one package or one expression but in various measures.  While pain is the universal leveler, it works differently in everyone's life.  It shapes us uniquely, sparing no one in the process.  Even as we writhe under its blows, we assume that no one else can possibly have gone through what we have endured."
Who sinned?
"Sometimes our hurts or disappointments do only slight damage, while sometimes they inflict deep and devastating wounds.  If disappointment were a thief, it would be no respecter of persons.  In fact, the more a person had, the more there would be to plunder.  So how could there be a Grand Weaver behind the scenes, weaving a pattern such as this?"  
"Is it possible to see a pattern developing and then respond to the nod or the stops?  At first, of course, we question the Sovereign One in whose hands our destines lie: "Who sinned, this man or his parents?"  Jesus' own disciples asked this question regarding a man blind from birth.  In an amazing way, Jesus said, for at least the physically blind person knew his disability, whereas the spiritually blind person had no inkling of his greater disability.  Then Jesus added that this man's blindness had nothing to do with his own sin or with his parent's sin, but that God intended to use it to display his own work (see John 9)."
God's work on display

"God does not display his work in abstract terms.  He prefers the concrete, and this means that at the end of your life one of three things will happen to your heart: it will grow hard, it will be broken, or it will be tender.  Nobody escapes."
"God the Grand Weaver seeks those with tender hearts so that he can put his imprint on them.  Your hurts and your disappointments are part of that design, to shape your heart and the way you feel about reality.  The hurts you live through will always shape you.  There is no other way."
Perfect before God
"Perfection, then, is not a change in the essential character but the completion of a course.  This is precisely what Jesus must have meant when he admonished both his disciples and us to "be perfect," as our Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).  We can never be who God is, but we can complete the task he assigns us to do.  Jesus demonstrated that the best way to reach God's desired end is always to obey the will of the Father, even when he seems distant."
"The loss of faith is a dreadful thing because it takes away hope and even threatens love.  When Noah faced the prospect of a catastrophic flood, he never imagined a boat without a rudder.  Someone once, very seriously, asked early-twentieth-century British writer G.K. Chesterton, "If you were stranded on an island and could have just one book, what would it be?"  Instead of the very spiritual or literary-minded answer expected, Chesterton replied, "Why, A Practical Guide to Ship-building, of course!" 
"The Bible is a book on life building, written for us as we sojourn on this planet.  Interestingly, it also tells us that the rudder and sail remain in God's control and that we enter the high seas with the understanding that we must trust him.  If you do not have the mind of faith, then you will fall into repeated peril - and God will get the blame.  A life of simple trust is a blessed life, and it sees beyond any impediment through the mind committed to God's way."  
This book is chock-full of truth and helpful reminders about every-day living for God.  I am so glad that a few years ago, I was able to purchase it from a thrift store.  If you ever get the chance to read it, you will not walk away empty.   

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Thank you for sharing!