“I’m taking my ball and going home!”
“If you can’t play by my rules then fine. I’m done!”
We have all heard them. We probably played with a few of them. Shoot, those very words may have come out of our mouths. But those are minor compared to these:
“I can’t trust God. I quit.”
“I can’t believe in all the chaos and junk that there is really a God who cares. I am done with Him.”
“I am tired of the whole church thing. Time for me to check out.”
Unfortunately, we have all probably heard those somewhere along the line as well. After just celebrating the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, it seems unfathomable to me that we can use those excuses for turning our backs, i.e. quitting. But it happens. I am ashamed of the times I have wanted to throw my hands up in despair because God’s answer was not immediately forthcoming. G-r-r-r-r.
I. FEEL. LIKE. QUITTING.
Then I remember the goodness of God and how He has never let me down. On time. Slow time. Hesitation time. But never late time.
You may have heard the story of Polycarp, the pastor of the church in Smyrna during the time Marcus Aurelius was ruling Rome. He found out they were coming for him he fixed the soldiers breakfast. He then asked for an hour to pray, and the story says they were so moved by his prayer they apologized for arresting him.
Brought before the proconsul, he was found guilty and sentenced to be executed by being burned at the stake. At his inquisition, the proconsul offered freedom if he would denounce Christ.
Polycarp is said to have answered, “Eighty and six years have I served Him and He has never wronged me. How can I blaspheme by king?” When they staked him to the “tree” to be burned, they tied his hands instead of nailing him because he assured them he would not try escape. The fire formed a ring around him, but would not burn HIM, so the executioner put a spear into him. The blood was so much it put out the fire. Eventually the Jews made sure his body was burned. Source: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
Quitting was not an option for Polycarp. Quitting was not an option for many of the early Christ-followers. Quitting should not be an option for me. For you. For anyone. The Easter story reminds us quitting should not be part of our vocabulary. The cross couldn’t stop Jesus. The grave couldn’t hold Him.
AND IN KEEPING WITH MONDAY’S “HISTORY”…THAT IS NO FOOL’S STORY
Hope you had a blessed Easter and found renewed hope for your journey. What lesson did you take away from your weekend?