To get anywhere in today’s society, self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and self-motivation is critical to a person’s success. Once we are on that treadmill, life becomes a competition. “The one with the most toys wins.” In the corporate world, the big fish eat the little fish and are called successful. In social circles, “keeping up with the Joneses” has created a downward spiral that can never be satiated. In spiritual realms, “self” sits on the throne of our hearts; and God can jump in whenever He wants.
It isn’t difficult to look at all of the “self’s” in these requirements to realize that the world’s idea of success is really failure in God’s eyes. The same can be true in ministry. We can get so busy replicating the “successes” in this world that we leave out the principles of God’s work – the fellowship of His sufferings! Toward the end of my marriage, God chose to “jump in” and am I ever glad He did.
I had been riding along through life making my marriage work, making my calling real, and making my life packaged up with a neat little bow. When God stepped in, He reminded me Who was in the making. My life was crushed. I’m sure He hated to have to do it to His own little girl; but if He didn’t, He would never have the preeminence. Every dream I ever had was shattered. I would never be a wife. I would never work in full time ministry. I would never start a Christian school. I would never have another child. I would never have a successful marriage.
On July 20, 1985, I lost my baby boy. The devastating results of that one divine intervention destroyed my health, my marriage, and my ability to keep my job. At the time, it simply made no sense. After years of waiting to get pregnant, why did I have him only to lose him? What purpose did his little life serve? How could he possibly live on having lived so little? As the storm raged, I ran into the Rock of Ages and He covered me under His wings. Like Job, there was nothing to do but wait for God’s healing hand. It was under His wings that I regained my purpose and identity in the Lover of my soul. Because of His magnanimous love, He refused to let me go my own way. He pulled me from the path of destruction; and delivered me from my very self!
In hindsight, I will never recover from those broken years; but who is to say I am supposed to? The more “self” is broken and dissolved in our lives, the more Christ has the rule and reign in our hearts. The end has been so much better than the means. God has restored unto me a hundred-fold of what I have lost. Today, I minister in God’s house to a group of ladies I could never have lived without. I’ve found solace, protection, and provision in the sufficiency of my Husband, Jesus Christ. My empty arms now hold grandchildren that fills my cup!
How our Lord must cry out in agony as He did to Jerusalem that day, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” The safest place I have ever found in my life time is under my Lord’s wings; and it took a tiny little boy that lived the space of two hours to show me that truth. Happy Birthday, Charles!
My way was filled with danger - I felt so alone.
The enemy had singled me out to do me wrong.
Then when he drew near, my heart filled with fear;
Then I felt someone dear calling me to His side.
And I ran under His wings. There, He covered me and now I can sing.
And the enemy still looks for me; but what he can’t see is that I’m under my Lord’s wings, under His wings.
Thunder rolled. Dark clouds drew cold; I was out in a storm.
Shivering in the darkness there; no safe retreat from harm.
Then there blew strong winds; would this be my end?
Then I heard my Friend calling me to His side.
And I ran under His wings.
There, He covers me and now I can sing.
And the storm still rages; but in the Rock of Ages, I’m resting warmly,
Under My Lord’s wings, under His wings.
Who from His love can sever? Under His wings my soul shall abide.
Safely abide forever.