Thank God for the sight of all you haven’t yet become. God has called you to be one of his holy people, you’ve had the vision of what he wants, but you aren’t there yet by any means.

God calls his children to the mountaintop and gives them a vision. Then he sends them down into the valley of everyday life, the valley where the vision will be put to the test. It’s in the valley that most of us turn back, because it’s there that we must prove whether or not we’ll be the chosen ones. We aren’t quite prepared for the blows that must come if we’re going to be turned into the shape of the vision. Are we willing to be hammered into shape by God’s hand? The hammering always comes in commonplace ways, through the circumstances and people we encounter in our daily lives.

There are times when we know God’s purpose for us, times when he’s given us a vision and we see it clearly. Whether this vision will be turned into actual character depends on us, not on God. If we prefer to bask in the memory of the vision, we’ll be of no use in the ordinary stuff of human life. We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision—not in ecstasies and conscious contemplation of God, but living our ordinary lives in light of the vision. We must do this until the vision becomes a reality. Every bit of the training God is putting us through is leading us to this goal. Learn to thank God for making his demands known.

The little “I am” always sulks when God says, “Do.” Let your little “I am” be shriveled up in the face of the great “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). God must dominate our lives. Isn’t it startling to realize that he knows where we live? That he knows the burrows we crawl into? He’ll hunt us up like a lightning flash. No human being knows human beings as God does.

Wisdom from Oswald

The place for the comforter is not that of one who preaches, but of the comrade who says nothing, but prays to God about the matter. The biggest thing you can do for those who are suffering is not to talk platitudes, not to ask questions, but to get into contact with God, and the “greater works” will be done by prayer (see John 14:12–13).  Baffled to Fight Better, 56 R