Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Unveiled Year (2016)

“By and by God will give an unveiled year and reveal the wonder of what He has been doing in us all the time”—Oswald Chambers

Here in the last hours on the last day of the year of our Lord two-thousand and fifteen (finished at 11:02 PM on December 31, 2015 Anno Domini or A.D.), I am sitting quietly reading and meditating on some of the words of Oswald Chambers.  Generally, I am reading “The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers” (Discovery House Publishers, 2000), and specifically “The Psychology of Redemption,” and even more specifically, pages 1072-1074 starting under the heading “The Unveiled Year” (from which I also got my title to this article).

Chambers said, “God will bring us to an unveiled year, when we will realize how we have grown without knowing it.”  And here at the end of another year, and having recently, only three days back, turned another year older, I come to the end of 2015 realizing, not so much growth as grace to believe it is a fact nonetheless (in spite of my blindness).  In times past God has faithfully illuminated Himself through me as a diadem in His hand, multi-faceted and multi-dimensionally.  He once made me aware that, even in my mess, He bragged on and through me to others, demonstrating His power through me in spite of my flawed character.  He reminded me of this—that “He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power” (Habakkuk 3:4).  His power is hidden in His hand, and we are those varying rays that His power flashes through from that hand.

According to Chambers, “Human nature is called upon to live a life of drudgery,” and therefore, assuming this is true (and I think it is...properly understood) we need to be careful that our high times with God don’t become idols.  This is not to lower our expectations, but rather to inspire us to the greater heights of that rarified air where the simple and subtle truth is that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).  “Most of our life is lived in ordinary human affairs, not in crises.  It is comparatively easy for human nature to live in a big strain for a few minutes, but that is not what human nature is called upon to do” (Chambers).

Since this is mostly and reflexively about Chambers and his ideas, allow me to quote him to the end of this paragraph: “We get our moments of light and insight when we see what God is after, and then we come to where there is no crisis, but just the ordinary life to be lived.  By and by God will give AN UNVEILED YEAR [emphasis mine] and reveal the wonder of what He has been doing in us all the time.”  “The mature saint is just like a little child, absolutely simple and joyful and gay.  Go on living the life that God would have you live and you will grow younger instead of older.  There is a marvelous rejuvenescence when once you let God have His way.”

The world only wants to “unfold their faculties,” whereas the Christian needs “an unveiled year.”  The difference between the two is the first one is about expressing self indiscriminately, whereas the second one is about revealing Christ in and through us discriminately (so as not to cast pearls before swine).  God hides the diadems in the palm of His hand, both for protection and readiness; we are those diadems, the hiding of His power, and for many, the year 2016 will be a REVEALING of that power.  May God richly bless you and me in this, THE UNVEILED YEAR!