Tim read to us from the devotional book he reads from daily. It was written by Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor, who was tortured for his faith in communist Romania. You can read about that in his book, Tortured for Christ.
The devotional for December 17 was this -
Isaiah 53:10 - "It pleased the LORD to bruise him."
"Therese of Lisieux had her place at evening prayers just in front of a sister who had a nervous affliction. She always made a little curious noise, rather like on would make by rubbing two shells together. This tiny noise got Therese down, but she never chided the offender, not even with a look. Something insider her told her that the right thing to do was to put up with it for the love of God and spare the sister any embarrassment. Only she could not ignore the disturbing noise. Perspiration poured down her in the attempt to pray not-withstanding, but it was useless.
Then Therese hit on the idea of liking this exasperating noise. Instead of trying vainly not to hear it, she devoted herself to listening hard, as if the sound were that of delightful music and her prayer consisted of offering the music to the Lord.
It is wrong to escape the anxieties and troubles through vain hopes or through quarreling with those who disturb you. Do not only bear sorrows, but positively love them.
In giving to Abraham the order to sacrifice his son, God gave him the additional happiness of specifying an alter three days' journey away, so that he might enjoy for a long time the idea of giving his most beloved for his Master. He could have placed the wood for the fire on an ass, but Isaac preferred to carry the wood up the hill himself. Great sacrifices should be borne, not with patience, but with delight.
The heavenly Father Himself, because it was necessary that His Son should die on the cross for the sins of the world, did not sacrifice Him grudgingly: "It pleased the Lord to bruise him." Adopt this attitude toward whatever disturbs you in life and you will be happy." Reaching Toward The Heights by Richard Wurmbrand.
This is giving me a lot to think about. It certainly is not the western way of thinking, or even the American way of thinking. It's challenging and I thought I'd share it with you.
Let me know what you think in the comments.