The True School of Love

“There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided” (Henri J. M. Nouwen).

How true is that? How many times have I thought that if I could get to a different season of life or to a new job or to a less stressful set of circumstances I would finally be happy and at peace? How often do I concentrate on changing my surroundings and never once give a thought to how God might be using my surroundings to change me?

Most of the time, I say I want to change, but not at the expense of my comfort and convenience. A famous writer once said that as long as your cry for relief is stronger than your cry for a changed heart, you’re never gonna grow up. That’s convicting, for sure. I can’t tell you how often in the past I’ve prayed for relief when God was wanting to change my heart.

My prayer tonight is “God, whatever it takes. I know that it will be more than worth it.”

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