Thursday, November 14, 2013

SILENCE

Sometimes we have a reason for silence and quiet.  We have a cross to bear or a duty to perform, or just living.  This morning I came across something that is so true.  I picked up a book after moving, from a box.  It had been in storage a long time. From the time I was a young Christian this author has been a mentor.  Now I am an older Christian woman myself.  Her wisdom and knowledge of living a Christian life have given me pearls of thought about Christ and our Christian lives over the years.  

From "God's Guidance-A Slow & Certain Light"

The taking up of the cross will mean sooner or later saying no to self.  But it is also a resounding yes.  It means saying yes when everything in us says no.  To decide to do the thing that we (and it will seem everybody else in the world) do not want to do because it is not "natural."  And in our giving of wholehearted assent, we find to our amazement that the impossible becomes possible and the things we were sure were beyond us are now within reach, for God's command is his enabling.  Never has he given an assignment that was not accompanied by the power to accomplish it.

The cross entails sacrifice, too.  There is no getting around this.  Christianity has been criticized and rejected by many as an "unnatural" religion, a life that denies living, a negation and not an affirmation.  Jesus never tried to make it look easy.  The principles he taught cut across the grain of human nature: lose your life in order to find it; be poor in spirit if you want to be happy; mourn if you want to rejoice; take the last place if you want the first.  The corn of wheat must first fall into the ground and die if it is ever to produce anything.
  
What we must not forget is that he traveled this road before us. He himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame:--not because he had a particular liking for self-denial and suffering but "because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering.  Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him, and you will not lose your purpose or your courage. 

Here is a poem she learned in college and what she says about it.

A few lines I learned while a student in college have come back to my mind, beckoning me when more immediate rewards were attracting my attention:


I heard him call "Come follow."
That was all.
My gold grew dim, my soul went after him.
Who would not follow
If they heard him call?
 by Elisabeth Elliot

Sometimes when we are called by Christ to do a certain thing, and we know some will not understand, we must follow his bidding.  He has a purpose for the future and the people involved that we cannot see.  We may or may not see the reason to take up such a cross.  What we can do is TRUST HIM, for he has the bigger picture in mind. We are but a piece of that picture, if we humbly hear his Call and Follow.   "Taking up the cross", as Elizabeth said, involves sacrifices that we may never have even thought of.  Thanks be to Jesus Christ our strength comes from him to accomplish these things asked of us.
Nana




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