Material for Sacrifice

Elisabeth Elliott in her devotional A Lamp unto My Feet says that our unfulfilled longings can be material for sacrifice.  This has provided much food for thought for me today.

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“I had been praying for something I wanted very badly. It seemed a good thing to have, a thing that would make life even more pleasant than it is, and would not in any way hinder my work. God did not give it to me. Why? I do not know all of His reasons, of course. The God who orchestrates the universe has a good many things to consider that have not occurred to me, and it is well that I leave them to Him. But one thing I do understand: He offers me holiness at the price of relinquishing my own will. 

“Do you honestly want to know Me?” He asks. I answer yes. “Then do what I say,” He replies. “Do it when you understand it; do it when you don’t understand it. Take what I give you; be willing not to have what I do not give you. The very relinquishment of this thing that you so urgently desire is a true demonstration of the sincerity of your lifelong prayer: ‘Thy will be done.’” 

So instead of hammering on heaven’s door for something which it is now quite clear God does not want me to have, I make my desire an offering. The longed-for thing is material for sacrifice. Here, Lord, it’s yours. He will, I believe, accept the offering. He will transform it into something redemptive. He may perhaps give it back as He did Isaac to Abraham, but He will know that I fully intend to obey Him.”

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One thought on “Material for Sacrifice

  1. I’ve been going through that with this eye infection. My eye was finally recovering from an allergic reaction that happened last year when it became infected a couple weeks ago and once again, I could not see out of it.

    There were a few “why” questions but I’ve walked with Him long enough to know He much prefers the “your will be done” prayers. Although I still pray for healing, of course. Sometimes I can look back and see how He was in the waiting and the trials but there are many that I just know He used for His good in the long run. Even if I can’t see it in this life.

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