I’d like to give you a glimpse into my thinking. As I was dictating my last post to Siri (while shoveling snow – hehehe), I just marveled at God’s purpose and plan in my life. It was actually the merging of my posts on authority with the last one that resulted in one large message for me. May I never lose it!
For most of my life, I’ve resisted what I’ve seen as a crippling limitation: I’m not well read, highly educated, nor academic. School has always been painfully tedious and reading extremely difficult. Though very learned professionals raised me, I could never get a leg up in that world. I probably have undiagnosed dyslexia and/or ADD, which has made traditional learning very difficult. My aunt used to brag about reading the dictionary through over and over, which for me would’ve been like chewing thumbtacks. Though I’m not proud of it, I think I was 22 before I even read my first book. Yep, I went through years of preparatory school, with extensive summer reading requirements, without a single book being read. It wasn’t that I was rebellious, I was just so painfully slow, that my mind would flutter off before I could even finish the page. So not thriving in reading felt very much like I was handicapped. I’m not stupid, nor illiterate, I just have very little grace for reading.
But now this painful wounding is being transformed in my thinking. I see it now as God’s saving grace. The longer I walk with the Lord, I see this restriction as His keeping. I wasn’t thrust into academia to sharpen my powers of deduction through knowledge. I just didn’t have it. So how’s this good? I’ve had to learn to lean and wait for God to reveal things to me. I’ve had to sharpen my listening and hone my questioning in order to understand. I listen continually for His voice and ask Him many questions, because He is my Teacher. And because I rely on Him, He’s opened up to me the wealth of Wisdom. I have to hear it, because I’m just not going to read volumes of books to gather information.
It isn’t that I don’t read – I do – but it’s in condensed portions. And even what I read is for the purpose of hearing, not mastering facts just because I can. I’m a hearer. I’ve been crippled into learning by hearing. And what has this made of me? Incredibly rich! I can’t bombard you with facts, I can only tell you what I hear. It was the salvation of my mind to make me dependent on Him! And what I called a curse for most of my life was actually the fulfillment of my prayers to know Him.
I’m not saying that education is worthless, because I’m awed at what people know. Men like Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and T. Austin-Sparks express deep spiritual truths with the Spirit’s anointed Life. This is awe-inspiring! But what I can say after reading many commentaries, is that there’s a lot of pontificating gray matter posing as God, rather than actual fellowship with the Most High.
So let me end with this. Where has your Creator crippled you to save you? I know we all have limitations that we call curses – it’s just human nature. And though we might try to drown the evidence of our handicapping in a sea of compensation, it’s there nonetheless. It’s that painful boundary we feel restricted by, and about which we probably have the most emotion. If we surrender to Him as the Setter of all limits, then He can turn us around and show us our greatest liberation. What once was shameful and sickening will be revealed as the way God hemmed us in to Himself.
I was raised to be a college preppy. I was forced to go to college & encouraged to be well read. After I completed all my parents required of me I began my life with God. I have read & studied the Bible & gained much knowledge. But knowledge puffs up. God so loves & values humility & love that I am on a different track now. Pursuing God in a two way love relationship. This is what pleases the Lord.
I find it hard to summarize what I want to say in just a few words, but thank you for sharing your story with us. It helps to know that I’m not alone in this fight of not being able to read well. Thank you
“For most of my life, I’ve resisted what I’ve seen as a crippling limitation: I’m not well read, highly educated, nor academic.” Get out, John!! That is quite surpising . . . you may not consider yourself well read but you read other people well — very keen discernment, from what I’ve heard on podcasts. That’s invaluable! You have so many gifts, John…to the wind with books! Look how God has gifted you with photography, technical and artistic skills. What you can or can’t do doesn’t define you anyway. You are always giving away the fragrance of Christ and He… Read more »
I could not have said it better. Thank you Pauline
Just for the record, my husband has so many of the same qualities Pauline described in John. His love far exceeds my “knowledge”.
I have always had shame and guilt around my lack of desire to read. Your perspective on this is very healing for me, John. Thank you for sharing!
As colombian, I will express my gratitude with a big warm hug. words get short to the light and hope you freely impart on me today.
Thank God for His infinite wisdom and love! I just read…”But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” I Cor. 1:27 Oh that we would see through these eyes and live in the preciousness of His grace!
I wonder if it isn’t actually those who go through life puffed up with head knowledge but without ever having their heart engaged who are the really handicapped ones …..
I deeply appreciate the way you are fearfully and wonderfully made, John …
Thank you, John. I am going to print this out for my husband, who faces a lot of the same issues, and always feels inferior to others of “greater intelligence’
Yep! I grew up feeling crippled by my shyness and lack of ability to start a conversation. But I too came to see that these things (and there are more!)are just as much a part of His plan for me as are my abilities. I came to realize that I am clueless, even when it comes to asking God to deliver me from being “crippled!” My heart doesn’t yearn to be healed anymore – I yearn for Him…
“But what I can say after reading many commentaries, is that there’s a lot of pontificating gray matter posing as God, rather than actual fellowship with the Most High.”
So true, John.
And as a side matter, I always thought you were a learned person. I never thought of you as a “slow man” at all, but all the contrary. I always thought of you as a learned man that “slowed” himself down for His sake.
“It’s that painful boundary we feel restricted by, and about which we probably have the most emotion. If we surrender to Him as the Setter of all limits, then He can turn us around and show us our greatest liberation.”
John, I have loved you so much through this post of Him in you…