Monday, February 09, 2009

Holding to the rope that God has thrown us

Prayer is holding on

When we pray it is as though we cling to a rope God has thrown to us. If we hold fast to this rope—no matter how numb the arms of our heart—he can pull us to safety and freedom. As Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” And for those who feel too unworthy to pray, Romans 8 offers this comfort: “The Spirit helps us in our weakness... and intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”


Johann Christoph Arnold, Be Not Afraid

Carrying the cross – which cross?

Whether we like it or not, we will encounter suffering and danger in our lives. If we do not bear the cross of the Master, we will have to bear the cross of the world – with all it’s earthly goods. Those who bear the Master’s cross know from experience that this cross bears them and takes them safely to their destiny. But the cross of this world actually drags us down and leads to destruction. Which cross have you taken up? Pause and consider.

Sundar Singh, Wisdom of the Sadhu


Those who acknowledge that they view suffering and tribulation in their own lives only as something hostile and evil can see from this very fact that they have not at all found peace with God. They have basically merely sought peace with the world, believing possibly that by means of the cross of Jesus Christ they might best come to terms with themselves and with all their questions, and thus find inner peace of the soul. They have used the cross, but not loved it. They have sought peace for their own sake. But when tribulation comes, that peace quickly flees them. It was not peace with God, for they hated the tribulation God sends.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Bread & Wine


I must become new

The word that crowns all others is this: “I make all things new!” This is of special support and comfort when we realize how quickly everything passes away and becomes dust and ashes. All things new! God cannot tolerate what is corrupt and destructive but wants to change it. Of course we enter into new life only through repentance (Acts 2:37–38). Sadly, many people think of all sorts of things around them that need to change and not at all of themselves. Or they would like to have only certain things change so as to be able to carry on more comfortably. We should be deeply humiliated to realize that there actually is nothing that must not also become new, especially ourselves. If I were to take a close look at each one of you – all of you must become new!

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Action in Waiting


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