...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Friday, April 29, 2011

Those Who Did Hard Things

I can still vividly remember laying on my bed in ninth grade and reading The Cross and The Switchblade.  I was mesmerized.  I was blown away.  I was deeply convicted.

Here was a man who really believed God- not just on Sunday, but all the time.  With everything.  With his family.  With his future.

He was willing to "do hard things".  To go into the inner city with his family and minister to people who might hurt or even kill him.

I grew up going to a respectful church, and I am grateful for a churched upbringing.  But no one in my church would go off and do something crazy like that!  We were too busy being nice and middle class and trying to reach the American dream.

David Wilkerson didn't seem to be too worried about any of that.

And I asked myself:
     ~Could I lay down the American dream and do anything God asked me to do?

Then later in high school I read The Hiding Place, and so began my voracious reading of biographies of people who have survived the unimaginable.  But also within me began the question:

     ~If I was faced with same choice, would I choose the safe way?  Would I choose my own safety?  Or would I lay my life down for others?

Corrie and her entire family laid their lives down to save any of the Jews they could in Holland.  In the world's eyes they were very unlikely candidates.  They were old, spinsters, and had, up to that time, led rather unremarkable lives.

I eventually read every book by Corrie ten Boom I could find.  When we lived in Europe we went to visit her house.  She is one of my heroines, though I never met her.

She did hard things.

Then, in the first year of our marriage I read another book- God's Smuggler.  Here was another one.  Another person who was willing to lay everything down for his Lord.

Brother Andrew's willingness to head straight into the jaws of the lion convicted me deeply.  Every time he crossed the border he knew he could be headed straight for a communist prison.

But he did it anyway.

He did the hard things because he loved God so much.  And he loved God's people so much that he was willing to take the risk in order to bring them the Bible.

And I asked myself:
     ~What am I willing to risk?  Where am I willing to head?  Into danger?  Am I really?

And there were other books:  Tortured for Christ (Richard Wurmbrand), I Will Never Leave Thee (Darlene Deibler Rose), The Shadow of the Almighty (Jim Elliot), Peace Child (Don Richardson), Lords of the Earth (Stan Dale), and many more.  Oh, I am so grateful that I love to read.

The reason I am writing this today thought is because yesterday David Wilkerson passed from this fallen world into the arms of the Savior for Whom he was willing to spend his life.
David's life was not easy.  Living on the front lines of a battle never is.  He died yesterday in an auto accident in Texas and amidst the horrific tornadoes and the Royal wedding the news got buried.

But I wanted to say publicly,  "Thank You Pastor Wilkerson."

I want to thank you for being the first person I can remember reading about who was willing to give your all for your Lord.  You were the first one who inspired me to want to be more than a nominal, everyday Christian, but instead to be one who really, really believed what I said I believed.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-11, 16-
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh... Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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