Two Years with Oswald Chambers

English: Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

English: Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve actually spent fifteen years reading Oswald Chambers‘ famous My Utmost for His Highest, but the last two years have been memorably intense.

My life is richer for it, in unexpected ways.

It started in summer, 2012 when we purchased a copy of David McCasland’s biography Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God.

My husband and I read the book avidly and  learned much about “OC.” We discussed and marveled together (he reads My Utmost for His Highest daily as well. By the way, you can read it refreshed each morning at www.umost.org).

But it was in January 2013, that my life changed when I began to write a book that touched on Oswald Chambers.

It was an ambitious undertaking and my agent was concerned. “Do you think you’re up to this?”

“If I have to spend an intense year, who better to spend it with than Oswald Chambers?” Click to Tweet

Who knew I was a prophet?

I, of course, underestimated how long it would take me to master World War I events sufficient to write intelligently about them, so it stretched to this summer.

Oswald Chambers: Cover of "My Utmost for His Highest"

It’s the personal I’m recounting here, and that’s where OC impacted me in the best way–a novelist does not write in a vacuum.

In May 2013, we unexpectedly agreed to sell our house to our son and his wife. We didn’t know the market had turned to a seller’s market, and so when the buyers sold their house in one week, we had to scramble to find a new place to live.

Have you ever had nine people living in your house while you tried to market a book, write a book, pack up your home and find a new place to live?

It had never happened to me before either, though I love all the people who crowded into our home.

We had a wonderful summer, when I wasn’t fretting about finding a new home.

Oswald Chambers, of course, had plenty to say on several pertinent spiritual topics during this time. Try a few:

“If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere . . .” (Revelation 3:10).”  ~The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance

I lost track of how many houses we looked at. Nothing “sat right” with my spirit.

This could not have been surprising to God, but where were we supposed to go?

 A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.”

Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. ~The Faith to Persevere.

As we tramped through house after house, I kept going back to a point OC made on several occasions:

“Whenever our right becomes the guiding factor of our lives, it dulls our spiritual insight. The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.” ~The Good or the Best

My husband chafed under that quote as we racked up another weekend of looking at houses that just. would. not. work. for. me.

I not only appreciate Oswald Chambers, but I love his kindred spirit wife, Biddy. Click to Tweet

A no-nonsense British woman, one of her signature lines was “I believe God.”

Biddy’s was a straight forward faith. She seemed unflappable at the lengths her husband stretched her, choosing always to believe God was at work. Click to Tweet

As we reached week 10 and I floundered, I thought a lot about their faith.

Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Click to Tweet

Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. ~The Concept of Divine Control

Our real estate agent ran out of houses to show us. He shook my hand one day and said, “something will turn up someday. We’ll keep in touch.””

Oswald Chambers Biddy

Oswald and Biddy; photo courtesy Wheaton College Special Collections library

I decided to echo Biddy’s “I believe God,” and enjoy the final summer with nearly my whole family at home. We had a lot of fun.

Within the next five days, we had four choices for a house.

Ten days later, we moved in to where we are today.

OC was right.

All those “goods,” were nothing compared to this “best.”

I, apparently, just needed to believe God for what He had planned all along. Click to Tweet

I’m not sure we could have survived 2013 without Oswald Chambers’ words echoing through our devotions and my writing every single day.

Because, ultimately, Oswald Chambers always pointed back to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and from his teaching, faith and enthusiasm, my faith and confidence grew.

Thanks be to God.

Have you got any goods and bests in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

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