Friday, December 6, 2013

Save Me From This Hour??

We read an interesting passage in Sunday School the other day which captivated me.  As Jesus was getting closer to the crucifixion, He stated, "..My soul has become troubled; and what should I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour?' But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Thy name."  (John 12:27-28).  In other words, He recognized the Father's will for Him to be crucified.  He didn't need prayers to deliver Him from this moment, or "this hour" as He stated.  It was God 's sovereign will for Him to die.  As a result, His prayer was not for deliverance, but that God would be glorified in His upcoming affliction.

This reminded me of God's sovereignty when going through major illness or cancer.  Sometimes it is not God's will for someone to be healed.  It's as simple as that.  Perhaps cancer or illness is part of a divine plan for a person, a providential trial to accomplish a higher purpose.  His power can be displayed magnificently through a vessel that is hindered by illness.

Consider the life of Fanny Crosby, one of the most prolific hymn writers in history.  Born in 1820 she became blind in childhood due to malpractice from a health care provider.  About eleven years after her conversion to Christ, she began writing hymns.  Not being proficient in Braille, she relied upon her memory to edit poems and songs.  Eventually, she wrote around nine thousand hymns, sixty of which are still in active use today, including, "Blessed Assurance," "Rescue the Perishing", "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross," and "To God Be The Glory."  She never wanted sympathy for her blindness.  She stated, "If I had been given a choice at birth, I would have asked to be blind...for when I get to heaven, the first face I will see will be the One who died for me."

Fanny Crosby did not ask to be delivered from blindness, or what you could possibly call, "her hour".  She recognized God's higher purpose in her infirmity. Hence, her life prayer was not necessarily, "Save me from this hour" but rather, "Glorify Thy name."  Consequently, her life was a living example of what she describes in one of her magnificent hymns, "To God be the glory, great things He hath done."


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