By Carol Keller
This Lent season I have not chosen to give up “one” thing. Rather I begin each day by asking God to show me the one “small surrender” He would like to extract from me that day. He is faithful to do that. I already see a pattern emerging (after only about two weeks!). Typically the small surrenders He requests swirl around my time, my attentiveness, and my tongue.
So today’s selection from Emilie Griffin’s Small Surrenders jumps out at me as she addresses pain and attentiveness. She talks about being deaf to small signals of trouble and our ability (willingness?) to listen only when the alarms are percussive and loud. We often think being brave and tough are good character traits. She suggests that sometimes these traits are only a kind of disobedience and pride.
Pain insists upon being attended to.
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in
our consciences, but shouts in our pains.
It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
—C. S. Lewis
I have been wrestling for the last few years with my need to be busy every minute of every day. Somewhere in my growing up, I claimed a core value something like this: My value, my worth is directly connected to my ability to produce. I felt that God was more interested in what I do than who I am. I was finally recognizing this for the lie it is, but was unable to make necessary changes in my life and my habits to reflect Truth. He tried whispering, he spoke to me, but my busyness continued. How in the world was He going to get my attention? And then last fall it happened. After chasing some physical aliments that continued to worsen over several months, in one day I went from Mrs. Very Busy All The Time to Mrs. Flat On Her Back For Three Months. After complications from thyroid surgery and recuperating for six weeks, I experienced a vocal cord procedure gone bad and was back to flat on my back—with no voice. My life stopped! He had my attention now! Needless to say, I had plenty of time to contemplate the changes I was being “encouraged” to make.
So in the words of our author “…in the school of adversity we are brought up short; we repent; we are changed. In spite of our rebellious hearts we become submissive, obedient, grateful.” That’s me!
What is God saying to you today through your adversity and pain? Listen and avoid the megaphone! Please.