Training for Reigning - 46 - How we take things

ABOUT THE WAY WE TAKE THINGS
I GNORED . . . PUSHED OFF . . . Shoved aside . . . Shut out …Lonely . …Longing to fly away from it all! If the reader
should know of any Christian to whom these words might apply, then this message is for him, for her . . . of whatever age.
Very much I should like (were it possible) to begin by telling you a few real-life stories of some of the Lord’s dear ones who, even while you are reading this, are suffering from grievous frustration. In some cases these stories commenced in early childhood when there were unsatisfactory parents, children unwanted, poverty, hardship. From such beginnings they struggled on up into later youth; they got saved, then married, only to experience more poverty with its endless struggle to keep out of debt. But "hope springs eternal in the human breast." If Childhood, Youth, Married life have all been disappointments, perhaps (they reason) when the children have grown up, and have married, things will be different. So it is that when the family has grown up and married (and have things so very much nicer and easier than ever we could have 1), life’s cup of bitterness seems filled to over-flowing when the same old pattern emerges once more; Ignored . . . Pushed off . . . Shoved aside .
Shut out . . . and Lonely . . . and feeling a gnawing resentment.
But before I write another sentence, if the reader should know of any to whom these words might apply, whether in Youth’s unsatisfied days, or in Married Life’s disillusionment and endless demands, or in Later Life’s disappointments and unwantedness, let me ask you to tell them that there is a happy "way out."
If they will read Luke 2:10-12 they will realize that likely there were a number of babies wrapped in swaddling bands to be found in the great crowds gathered in Bethlehem at that time. But there was only One which would be found lying in a manger. This was to be their sign - surely a symbolic sign that, in full agreement with Isa. 53:3, was to be seen so often throughout His sojourn among men: Ignored . . . Pushed off . ..Shoved aside . . Shut out . . But NOT lonely, NOT frustrated, and without a particle of resentment!
Do we wonder - remembering the power of His Deity, and the greatness of His condescension when He "became in the likeness of men" in order to redeem us - do we wonder how He could take things as He did?
In John 4:34, speaking as Jehovah’s perfect Servant, He gives us the answer, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me"
the servant-attitude that made Him (and can make us, also) completely proof against such things as Frustration, Resentments, Conflicts, Depression, and resultant Nervous Tension.
Your attitudes, my attitudes, everybody’s attitudes - these are the things that condition our lives (including Temperament and Character) and so make or mar them. For example, suppose someone "snubs" or otherwise humiliates me. You will see at once that the effect on me will depend on how I take such treatment. If my attitude is one of "don’t care" my reaction will not be the same as if I should take the mental position, "Who does he think he is? I’ll show him he can’t do that to me!" It will be different, also, if I conclude, "Well, I deserved it"; and still more so if I shall take David’s attitude toward Shimei, "Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him!" 2 Sam. 16:11.
These four possible reactions resulting from differing attitudes should be enough, I hope, to help my readers to think still further about the very great importance of Attitudes in the business of Christian living. For it’s the way we take things that so often decides whether or not, we shall recognize our loving Heavenly Father’s hand in all our troubles . . . or shall tumble into one of Satan’s snares, such as the Frustrations - Boredom - Resentment triad, with spirits very, very low because we are Ignored
- . . Pushed off . . . Shoved aside . . . Shut out . . . Lonely.
Now, as I have said, there is possible a blessed release from such weariness. But I must warn our readers that it just isn’t likely to come the way so many of us think it ought to come - by a change in our circumstances! In fact when these continue to be what we consider unfavourable, unfair or unbearable, we can make up our minds that they are that way because God intends to make a change, NOT IN THEM, BUT IN US; Rev. 3:19 with Matt. 11:29-30.
To say it bluntly: He seeks to teach us by experience that the happy, easy life so many of us desire is not at all His will for us. Indeed, were we to achieve it, it would be but an empty shell. For release from frustration tensions cannot be wholly gained through the fulfillment of the wishes of our wills; Eccl 1:8. It does come, fully and blessedly, when we abandon the struggle to get what we want, and set ourselves to seek, unreservedly, to
"LIVE THE REST OF THE TIME.. . TO THE WILL OF GOD"; (1 Pet. 4:2).
Let me try once more to tell you, briefly, what can be done about it . . . and don’t forget Matt. 11:30.
(1) We can overcome Complaining by practising the Grace of Acceptance; Matt. 11:26.
(2) We can "set to our seal" that at all times, and in everything, "Ye serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3:17, 23-24) . . . and so bring ourselves into the servant-attitude so blessedly seen in our Master . . . counting our entire lives as being lived unto Himself, no matter how disagreeable, or unjust, or hard-to-bear He may permit the conditions of such service to be. It would be wise to memorize Col. 3:17, 23-24, so that their counsel shall be available at all times.
(3) We should make it a habit to seek our Master’s face every morning (Prov. 8:34; Isa. 50:4-5) in order to learn from Him what He wishes us to do that day. When we have prayed, let us not jump up and run away, but stay on silently before Him (Psa. 46:10) and so give the Holy Spirit a chance to form in our minds His directions: Prov. 27:18; Psa. 73:24; Neh. 9 :20a.
He may bring before us some passage from the Word that will teach us His way. Or we may be reminded of some neglected duties; or He may set before us some particular need, or send us on an errand. To an invalid He may impart some of His thoughts to be passed on to others. It would be impossible to suggest all the possibilities. But in thus allowing Him to direct our everyday steps, our Attitude towards Himself changes into a servant-Master relationship in which He assumes all responsibility for the direction and management of our lives. And it is in this way, in which we are seeking to accept everything as from Himself, and are doing everything as unto Himself, that the old sense of being Ignored, Pushed off, Shoved aside, Shut out and Lonely, with all the Frustration-resentments, will fade away. Even hateful tasks, or weary waiting, will be replaced by a new realization of Purpose and Achievement. And "the reason why" all the unhappiness was permitted will be recognized as His method of altering our attitudes -"for the rest of the time."