Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Becoming a "Saint"

Another quote from A.W. Tozer:

"We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs; and through the grace of God, maybe we shall, maybe we shall.

But for the most of us it could prove at first an embarrassing experience. Ours might be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes who have fought the fight and won the victory and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.

The devil, things, and people being what they are, it is necessary for God to use the hammer, the file, and the furnace in his holy work of preparing a saint for true sainthood.

It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply."

Pain and Suffering

For suffering Christians, the book "Be Still, My Soul:  Embracing God's Purpose and Provision in Suffering; 25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain", edited by Nancy Guthrie, is a must to own.

Here's just a little taste of the wealth of encouragement (which ranges as far back as St. Augustine and moves to the present day writings of the likes of John Piper and Joni Eareckson Tada):

"Strange as it may sound, it is yet true that much of the suffering we are called upon to endure on the highway of holiness is an inward suffering for which scarcely an external cause can be found.  For our journey is an inward journey, and our real foes are invisible to the eyes of men. 

Attacks of darkness, of despondency, of acute self-depreciation may be endured without any change in our outward circumstances.  Only the enemy and God and the hard-pressed Christian know what has taken place. 

The inward suffering has been great and a mighty work of purification has been accomplished, but the heart knoweth its own sorrow and no one else can share it.  God has cleansed his child in the only way he can, circumstances being what they are. 

Thank God for the furnace."
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The "Committed" Aspie's Wife

Word of warning to aspies who are reading this . . . . You may want to skip this post.  It is an honest account of a neurotypical's struggle.  It delves into a different perspective--one that is trying to understand and cope with NT/AS reality.  I sincerely hope you do not take offense.  Please realize we NT wives need some "hooks" to hang this new found knowledge on, and sometimes it sounds harsh.  It can help us to be able to compartmentalize, organize, and see order in the midst of the confusing chaos.

Some wives of aspies are 100% committed to the relationship.  Often, these are the wives with strong religious beliefs.  But even though we are committed, we sometimes flail about in utter confusion as to what we are actually dealing with.  We want to understand where we are, because we are NOT in the relationship we always thought we would have.

Times have been rough around here lately for various reasons.  My commitment has begun to make me feel like one 'committed' to an institution.  It has recently felt like I am in a prison of sorts.  A white-collar prison, with many comforts and amenities.  But a prison all the same.

And the aspie of the house is the prison guard.  There is a sense of freedom when the guard is away.  But when he is around, the inmates must show respect.  You must expect nothing from him other than provision of basic needs.  You must not expect understanding or friendship or compassion.  He's the guard.  You follow his rules, keep calm, and make sure all things are in order.  Straighten up.  Show respect.  Yield to authority.  It's prison after all.

But if you are a Christian, you are, like the apostle Paul, a prisoner of the Lord.  You participate in His sufferings.  For a reason.  It's so much easier when you think about it in this light, isn't it?

On the surface, it certainly feels like life is horrible.  It's easy to be full of self-pity.  Woe is me.  The majority tell you to break out, break away, and never look back.

But delving into the spiritual meaning in it all, your sufferings are not in vain.  If you were imprisoned on the mission field, you would see purpose in your jail time.  You would strive to show honor and love toward your enemies, and toward the prison guards.  You would aim to be a witness for good in the midst of the trial.

So remember, if you are a Christian who is committed to the relationship, you are called to serve each day, even when it feels as if you are a prisoner, for the glory of God

"Life isn't all about me" should be the Christian's motto to follow.  And managing to stay in an NT/AS relationship is the perfect chance to work that motto out each and every day.