We all get irritated by the seemingly insurmountable problems in the society around us. As a missionary ministering in another country, I know that this natural reaction can be pushed to an extreme. The perennial difficulties we encounter in another culture can make us critical rather quickly.
But whether in our own country or in another, the flawed reality that initially angered me about my nation, my church or my mission field is the very place where God desires that I become Christlike.
When I first feel the sting of a persistent problem, typically, my flesh reacts with criticism. But if I will repent of simply finding fault – if I pray and submit myself to Christ’s heart, pushing deeper than the problem – I soon discover that in His heart there are many ways that I can participate in His redemptive work.
When I submit to Christ’s heart I find that the thing that irritated or insulted me is actually an area of need. So when I feel the pain of the problem and am tempted toward the critical reaction I find that it is important for me to turn away from mere criticism and toward Christ’s heart for this area of need. When I can do that, then my pain is turned to power. Everything I do in participation with His work of redemption brings divine power to the situation — and fuels my own spiritual growth!
In fact, when I can approach the area of need from Christ’s redemptive heart rather than just from a platform of criticism, the “flawed reality” I initially criticized ultimately becomes the land of my anointing…
Revised, from a word by Francis Frangipane