Training for Reigning - 18 - A New Year's message for heavy hearts

IT MAY BE YOU are an invalid. Or perhaps you have been crippled, disabled, or otherwise handicapped. Or it may be that your heart is bowed down from bereavement; or possibly you may be carrying a burden of anxiety, and grief bordering on despair, for an erring loved one. Or marriage may have passed you by. Whatever the burden may be, let me ask for you a Happy New Year - through a better understanding of "the reason why."
Be assured that you have our deepest sympathy. Yet I do not write to tell you of our sorrow for you; but, as the Lord may be able to express His thoughts through this chapter, to say to you that although life may have lost its pattern, IT CANNOT BE THAT IT HAS LOST ITS PURPOSE.
From some personal experience I know what it means to be "on the shelf" through illness. I know quite well how hopeless everything can seem - the wistful yearnings to be like other people; to be able to do something towards earning one’s living; the striving to keep up an interest in, and so to be a part of, the life that goes on around you and from which solicitous loved ones often try to shut one out. There are the hopes as well - those hopes which prove to be in vain so very often - and the final sinking down into the resignation of defeat. But perhaps the hardest to accept of all the frustratings of a normal human spirit (next to incessant pain) is the prospect of being useless .
What earnestness there is in the prayers for some measure of recovery. What clingings to promises, - as we judge them to be! What disappointments and silent grief; or it may be murmurings, or even loud complainings, - to be followed by an accusing conscience, tears, depression, and sometimes chilling doubt!
Yet again there are some of you who suffer in a similar manner as you walk in the darkness with a sorrow more bitter than death
- a sorrow for which so few are fitted to sympathize since they have never passed that way - grief for a straying loved one, or from the shame of your own sin, or from the blighting of your most cherished hopes.
For all of you dear ones, whether you are one of His "hidden ones," or are exposed to public gaze, life has lost its pattern. And with its loss there has come a confusion of thinking, and a bewildered seeking for the cause of it all. For doubtless your heart has sought some consolation from the oft-repeated, "there must be a reason for it all!"
Yes, Beloved, there is a purpose behind it all: Isaiah 48: 17. For if the pattern of our lives be lost, then it generally is so because it was ours - not that of our loving Father in Heaven. Sometimes its loss means only that He is changing our course. In any case, if it be changed, then surely the Lord has changed it, and all must be well.
But how shall we understand what it all means? Let me point out that we shall not have the slightest success in solving the riddle of the "Why?" so long as we shall seek to see things through the dust - the perplexities - of the daily struggle. Instead, like David in his rejection days, we must withdraw from the fighting, and CLIMB UP INTO OUR HIGH TOWER, UP ABOVE THE FOGS AND MISTS OF EARTH INTO THE PRESENCE OF OUR GOD, WHERE WE SHALL SEE THINGS IN THE CLEAR LIGHT OF HEAVEN. Only away up there, in communing with Himself, shall we get Light on the outworkings of His purposes for our lives (Psalm 18: 2; Philippians 2: 13; 1:6).
But do we do that, Beloved? Do we humble ourselves, and seek to lay ourselves out before Him that He may be able to reveal to us something of His mind concerning our lives? Or do we keep on asking Him to make us better, or to lighten the burdens so that we may be relieved of our troubles, or to stop him, her, in his, her, mad career, or to take us home to Heaven out of it all? For just so long as we keep up the battle to get OUR purposes to come to pass, then just that long are we hindering THE LORD’S purposes from coming to pass. For after all are not our own attitudes our greatest hindrances towards acceptance of an unwanted position in life? We need only to ask ourselves, "What is my attitude towards this burden?" to discover where all the dissatisfaction, the struggle to change things, comes from.
Oh, Beloved, surely it requires not great spirituality (only willingness) for us to "sink our will in His will"- to say with His beloved Son, "Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight" (Matthew 11: 26). Then a New Year can have a truly happy beginning if we will realize that:
(a) After some real honest heart-searching before the Lord;
(b) After the recognition of our fault, and a humble confession of our unwillingness to accept what He has allowed to come to us as our portion in life;
(c) WE CAN CHANGE OUR ATTITUDES by humbly accepting that which He has allowed, praying, "not my will, but Thine be done," and then asking for grace (Hebrews 4: 16) to really mean it, and to live it out - something that will not be nearly so hard as some of you will be imagining.
And then He will be able to begin to show you that all the while He has had in mind for you A PLANNED FUTURE (Job 23: 14 with James 5: 11).
Then all the struggling against the conditions which have been so hateful so utterly contrary to all that you have desired - will come to an end. In place of Frustration and Resentment there will be a growing sense of Restfulness and Fulfilment, since you will have made it possible at last for Him to widen out, and so to begin to reveal, the avenues of His purposes for you. For once our wills are broken He can start to lead us into His.
And so for you dear, heavily-burdened ones, I am asking a truly Happy New Year, in that it shall bring you into a consciousness of having entered into a God-planned life, which, if He be not come, He now shall be able to open up to you.
But remember, a sulky Resignation to His will is no substitute for a downright Acceptance of it!