Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Proof Texts"

One of my admired women, Elizabeth Elliot, repeatedly asked varieties of this question: "Did the Lord comfort you or were you sometimes lonely or sad?" It is not an either-or thing.

If I had not been lonely and sad at times, how could I have needed, received, or appreciated comfort? It is the sick who need the physician. It is the thirsty who need water.

This is the reason why Paul did not resent or deplore his weaknesses. He "gloried" in them. Why? They provided him precious occasions to appropriate divine help and strength.

It was in prison that Joseph knew the presence of the Lord.

It was in the lion's den that Daniel's faith was proved.

It was in the furnace that Daniel's three friends found themselves accompanied by a fourth.

Elizabeth Elliott calls them "proof texts." In order to experience their truth, we have to be placed in "proof contexts" ourselves. The prison, the lion's den, the furnace. These are "proof texts" where we are shown the truth and realities of life and God. Incontestably, forever.

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