AS A YOUNG MINISTER, I made many presumptuous mistakes, convinced I knew best, rushing in to advise and guide others before God’s purpose and plan had time to unfold and reveal themselves. I remember one especially tragic occasion. A young woman in my church was due to be married in less than a month. I had counseled these two fine young people; all the arrangements had been made for a lovely ceremony: music, dresses, flowers, reception. We had read and reflected together on the meaning of the words in the marriage service.
Then the young woman was diagnosed with a seriously disabling neurological disease. Her anguished fiancé came to talk with me. What should they do? What if she got worse? He loved her, but could he handle a chronic illness either emotionally or financially?
I listened to him, or at least thought I was listening, but I was on the side of young love. I did not help him realistically pay attention to the grim prognosis or listen at depth to his worry. I knew what I would have decided and would have done in those circumstances. I encouraged him to go ahead with the marriage if she agreed. I told him possibly a happy marriage would help heal her or send the disease into remission.
I was mistaken. Within a year the wife was a helpless invalid and her husband deeply embittered. I look back in sorrow. I had not coerced him, but my enthusiasm was ignorant and presumptuous. I should have listened more closely to his reservations and urged him to wait – to think, pray, talk with others, and listen for God’s answer to unfold.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Enter by the Gate
From pages 50-51 of Enter by the Gate: Jesus’ 7 Guidelines When Making Hard Choices by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2004 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Look for opportunities to listen to others this week. Share your thoughts.
As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”
Acts 8:36, NRSV
This Week: pray increased faith. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Anselm
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA