Monday, August 18, 2014
I Shall be Telling This with a Gulp
'Come, my sweetest Jesus, that I may now be inseparably united to Thee in time and eternity: welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives, and butchery; welcome for the love of Jesus, my Savior.' (St. Henry Morse)
I was okay until the ropes.
I can pray the first line of that prayer with all my heart. I'm able to sing it, rejoice in it, even make it into an aspiration to repeat throughout the day.
But I gulp when I read about the ropes, and the knives, and the butchery. But then, I'm not in the position of St. Henry, who apparently said these words while facing martyrdom in 1645.
I've been thinking about the sorts of things I'm willing (and not willing) to face if I am going to truly follow Christ. Things I sometimes encounter in the midst of my ordinary, regular, day-to-day life.
Knives (I've realized) do not have to be physical to hurt us. Anyone who has ever been sliced by words knows the truth of this. The butchery of gossip? Of being mocked or belittled? Of being verbally attacked for standing up for the Gospel? It can be brutal. To remain true to Jesus when we know we'll be cut down for loving and obeying Him - well, that takes grace.
Thankfully, He provides all the grace we need, just when we need it. All we must do is accept, and trust, and hand ourselves over to Him (not to 'them,' but to Him) when we are presented with opportunities to do so.
I am convinced that we can reach out for His grace and stand strong for Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of our gulps.
'When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. You yourselves will not be the speakers; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.' (Matthew 10:19-20)