When “no” is the best answer

This is a part of a message I sent yesterday to a speaker/bible teacher whose studies are a huge blessing. She shared how she entered in the teaching thing, and I saw similarities to my story. Sometimes transparency can be so encouraging.

“Thank you for sharing how you enter teaching Bible studies. I can totally relate. At the age of 22 I got a degree in Bible and Theology. What a dangerous thing is to give public recognition to a young, unwise and proud person! I pretty much told God “here I am to help your cause with my degree and experience, you’re welcome” (I have to laugh now when I think I thought myself so experienced in life and spiritual matters). My plans were not scandalous or 100 % selfish. I wanted to go for a master degree, get a position as a Bible teacher in a seminar or university, grow old and be happy . Now I see the problem: I wanted to teach about someone I didn’t know to people I didn’t even like. (I’ve always felt more comfortable with ideas and books than with people). Just to make this worse, I left Bible school completely lost. I didn’t know if I had talents, abilities, gifts or anything that would keep me alive outside the academic world.

So God simply said no to my wonderful plans. I might have had the knowledge, but I was lacking love for my borthers and sisters and humility to admit that I’m so unnecessary to carry out his purposes. Instead a master degree, thing that I eventually got, God signed me in to a personal course on getting to know him personally, not through books. It was just the 2 of us watching everyone else accomplishing great things while I was put on hold. According to me, my life was falling apart. I took a job as a language tutor, because there was nothing else for me in that small city south Spain.

10 years later, that tutoring became into a career. Still not quite as I expected, but I can see a pattern in my life, a pattern I could have never orchestrated. Someone is polishing my teaching skills for his purposes. 15 years later I can finally see why that “no” was the right answer.

As I young friend used to say: “we are not ready for the same things at the same time”.

Clean your windows Matthew 5:8

A late cancellation gave me the chance to do housework I don’t usually have time for. One thing led to another and I ended up cleaning my windows. It was probably the first spring sunny day in the year and as I enjoyed the work of my hands I became aware if how dirty they were. In my defence I will to say that isn’t easy to keep basement windos clean (yes, I live in a basement).

I believe when God has something to say, he uses even windows to deliver his message. “Happy are those whose heart is pure, for they shall see God” (Mathew 5:8). My windows didn’t get dirty from one day to the other, it was a process and I allowed that to happen. Bringing the analogy to the spiritual field, I’ve missed the ability to see God’s light the way I used to. Some time ago, I was able to aknowledge God’s signature in my life easier than now. I tend to look for rational explanations, almost ignoring God’s hand in the issue. It was time to clean the windows of my heart. In the same way I can’t avoid the rain and dirt, I can’t help the harships of this life.  I’m not responsable for them, but I’m responsable to keep my heart clean inspite of the external circumstances. My job is coming to God’s word dialy so my heart shall be pure and experience true happynes by seeing God.

Purity is necesary to see God, and the result of these two is happynes. Happines is not finding human solutions to human problems, that is for those who refuse to believe in Christ. Happines is seeing God in the sunlight or the rain, taking care of insignificant details or at the crossroads of life.

When was the last time you saw God? (Charles Surgeon, A passion for Holyness)