C U R I O S I T I ES
There was once a certain man who walked out into the middle of a field where he would not be interrupted by anyone. He raised his arms toward heaven, then with tears streaming down his face, trembling with fear, he began to shout. He, with all the strength in his being shouted out to God saying:
"I just can't take it anymore. I have been used, abused, beaten, cursed, laughed at, lied to, and sneered on. I have tried to love exactly how You asked me to. I have turned the other cheek hundreds, even a thousand times until my cheeks ache. I have given even when I had to borrow so another might survive. I have prayed and cried for many who do not know You God. Oh God...I am tired, worn out, and discouraged trying to fight the evil that buffets my soul. I feel You have turned from me God, I feel like this is more than I can do! God, do You really even care!"
Then he heard a voice speak softly within his troubled heart. The voice said,
"Yes I am here, I have never left. You know nothing of how many souls have watched you in your struggles, your pain, and your perseverance. You know nothing of how many souls have turned to Me because you have stood against the wiles of evil, not breaking, but standing firm. Many have seen your pain because of your testimony of Me and they will stand without excuse before Me because of your life before them!"
The voice continued within this man and said,
"If I ask of too much pain from you for the sake of other souls, then go into your house and do nothing; I will find another who is willing to give for the sake of lost souls. I will find another who will walk through the suffering and pain even as I allowed pain and suffering in Paul, Peter, and all those who went into this world of sickness and evil so others might know Me!"
The man fell upon his face ashamed and then the love of God lifted him to his feet. He looked up to heaven as his entire being began to experience a refreshing and a new strength. He whispered, "Lord, I am ready to go back and love; even unto death." And as he walked away, he heard a voice say,
"Well done My faithful friend."
Gethsemane (Ochrid) - F45
Date: 13th c. (Late)
Location: St. Clement's Church, Ochrid, Macedonia
Courtesy of St. Isaac the Syrian Skete, www.skete.com
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