Monday, February 9, 2015

I Would Need the Nails...

"World in Fire Image" Courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, 
scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." 
Hebrews 12:2 NIV

I'm having one of those of those stretches of days.  The days that many people believe I don't have because of how happy I usually am.  But I most certainly do have those days.  I have the days that I want to flee from my responsibilities as a mom of a child with special needs; the days when I know that I am NOT strong enough for this job and that God has made an undeniable mistake in giving me this responsibility. 
If I waiver and grow weak from a battle for supplemental insurance...If I am too tired to even want to log in to ANOTHER "my chart" account to try and track down MORE appointment notes for my daughter's medical history...If I can't think of something I want to do LESS than send another e-mail to the state...If the smell of my computer when it roars to life makes me nauseous...If I cried for 3 hours today and only stopped to take my daughter to an appointment...
If all of this is the REAL me...
Then I am not strong enough.
Polycarp, a bold and brave Christian martyr, who refused to proclaim, "Caesar is Lord" was set to be burned at the stake.  The fact that he stood firm in his faith is one thing. 
Instead he proclaimed:
"Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" 
But wait, here's the real kicker: 
Soldiers then grabbed him to nail him to a stake, but Polycarp stopped them: "Leave me as I am. For he who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails." He prayed aloud, the fire was lit, and his flesh was consumed. The chronicler of this martyrdom said it was "not as burning flesh but as bread baking or as gold and silver refined in a furnace."
No nails...

He knew that God would give him the strength to stand there as his flesh burned, as the smoke sucked the air from his lungs, as the flames consumed his living body.  He requested that they leave him there to freely and willing be sacrificed for the cause of Christ. 

I don't know about you, but I think I would have needed those nails. 
I'm not strong enough.
Polycarp stood in the fire as his flesh burned; he stood there by the power of his God, by the power of his faith.  Do I have that kind of faith?  

I don't have the answers to these questions.  And the funny thing is...I actually started writing this LAST Monday!  I didn't even have the strength to finish!  But here I am, a week later, still in love with the God who loves me; the God who loves you.  I've had a week of laughter, a week of tears, a week of joy, a week of fear...Because we were born into a dying world, and we are all on a journey toward the ultimate choice; the choice to accept the love of our Creator, or the choice to turn away.  And, although God is both the "hurt and the healer," I trust Him. 

God hasn't asked me today to burn on the stake for Him...but He HAS asked me to trust Him in the midst of some pretty trying times.  

I can do this, God...with your strength, I can do this...

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