You’ve probably heard the old adage about Romans 12:1 that says, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar.” Sadly, that has been a constant reality in my walk with Christ. I surrender all, only to discover a few months (or years) later that I’ve taken back what I had previously put on the altar. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminds me of my previous promises and helps me to recommit those areas to the Lord.
As I edited and translated the Wesley devotional book in Portuguese, I had many moments of panic and insecurity. In spite of my fears, the Lord enabled me to push on through. Near the end of the whole project, I was talking to a friend about the next phase. “What if I can’t find a publisher for my book?” I queried. Her gentle response took me off guard, “Hope, it’s not really your book. It belongs to God and if He wants it published, it will happen.”
A dear Christian woman told me that she once threw a housewarming party to show off her redecorated apartment. Someone spilled juice all over the new sofa and she was so traumatized that she decided to give up hospitality. Her response would have been very different if she had realized that it wasn’t really “her” sofa.
I wonder if this was Job’s secret. After all, the one who can say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21) is either a complete unfeeling idiot or someone who knows without a doubt that nothing really belongs to him in the first place. I’m so thankful that the Lord keeps patiently teaching me this lesson!