How long do you remember that it is the Lord who is making you work? But then, by repeatedly analysing like that, you will come to a state when the ego will vanish and in its place the Lord will come in. Then you will be able to say with justice "Thou, Lord, art guarding all my actions from within." But, my friend, if the ego occupies all the space within your heart, where forsooth will there be room enough for the Lord to come in? The Lord is verily absent!
'Hail, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you' (Lk. 1:28)! Thus does the holy Church invoke the most holy Virgin, the Mother of God. But the Lord is also with every pious soul that believes in Him. The Lord's abiding with the Virgin Mary before she conceived the Savior is not a particularity proper to the most pure Virgin alone. The Lord is with every believing soul: 'The Lord is with you.' These words may be said to everyone who keeps the Lord's commandments.
the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.
God is sovereign, that is He is the boss. He is in control. He is the supreme ruler of heaven and earth for all of eternity. He is Lord. We don't make Him Lord. He is Lord. And joy comes when we acknowledge that He is Lord; we rest in His Lordship. We trust His sovereignty, and we surrender to it. That means that God has the right to give, and God has the right to take away.
Now, some of you may be shy by nature, perhaps feeling yourselves inadequate to respond affirmatively to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord's work, and when we are on the Lord's errand, brethren, we are entitled to the Lord's help. Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it.
The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness.
What is needed for happy effectual service is simply to put your work into the Lord's hand, and leave it there. Do not take it to Him in prayer, saying, "Lord, guide me, Lord, give me wisdom, Lord, arrange for me," and then arise from your knees, and take the burden all back, and try to guide and arrange for yourself. Leave it with the Lord, and remember that what you trust to Him you must not worry over nor feel anxious about. Trust and worry cannot go together.
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