"For consider Him who has endured
such hostility by sinners against Himself,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
I just realized the thrust of this verse is telling us to look at Him, to consider Him, the One who endured, rather than keeping our eyes down on the hostility, the attacks. But I usually get tripped up looking down at those things that make us weary and lose heart. It's like running when you notice your shoelaces are untied. Yep, I had stitches in my lip once when I was in preschool running like that. Learn to tie those tennies and look up! Don't get tripped up.
We live with these military planes flying overhead constantly.
If under attack, we are not to yield our standards, our beliefs, our souls and just roll over and die. The problem is, the attacks will never cease in this world. Sinners will be here till kingdom come. We could never bomb them all out of existence--but hopefully just enough to keep most of their attacks far from home.
One day He'll separate the sheep from the goats, the chaff from the wheat. In the meantime, if we hang around with Him, we are going to have our share of attacks. It is because while He radiates love, it draws out the unadulterated hate from sinners. It reveals basic human nature: if you reject God, you are hostile towards Him. So we are in the world with these hostile people.
Now we are told to think about Him so we will not grow weary and lose heart. But here below, I'm feeling a little weary, a little draggy, a little under-the-weatherish, not up to fighting any huge battles today, thank you. Instead, I think I'll call my doctor. If I was to go out onto the battle field today, I'd get whupped Sometimes I just have a bad case of the punies and need to pull my slug body back into its shell. When I tend to get this niggling feeling, I probably need some doctoring because there's something fight'n ag'in me inside. If I don't attack it back, it could take over with severe consequences. Oh, the frailties. So we have these troubles without and within. But we can't lose heart. My troubles are not comparable to real troubles others face.
I've told the story before of the honor of being with a wonderful man as he was fighting the good fight and was about to cross the finish line. Eric was dying. He was about to lay his heavy armor down. My pastor-husband was out of town, so I was the one who was privileged to go to the hospital to be with him. He still looked to be the big strong man that he always had been. He was too young to die, but there he was about to receive his reward.
Other ministers rallied around his bed loudly praying to bring him back from the brink of death. He sent them away and called me in to quietly read to him Scriptures and sing hymns. His body appeared to be running hard, chest heaving, though lying on a hospital bed. Those were his last struggling breaths. Ever since that blessed experience of being one to cheer him on, I have always thought of Eric as I read these last chapters of Hebrews. His body was weary, but He didn't give up his race. He had somewhere to go, heaven. So he ran hard panting where he lay to the very end before he could catch his wind, his next breath in the heavenly breezes.
Now our children are raising the next generation passing on the baton. Here's a little conversation our daughter-in-law overheard between her six year old twins, and she reported,
"Today when Ezra was in one of his moods,
he said that when he grows up he's gonna be a really bad guy.
Addie said, 'I wouldn't do that if I were you!
There's a bad heaven that you'd go to
where there's lots of pain and thorns and choking.'"
So don't grow weary and lose heart, dear ones,
especially considering the alternatives!
Ezra, when his mom waited a tad too long and found him in
the hole he had dug. His next plan was to dig a tunnel to Toys R Us!