This morning I spent some quality time (3 1/2 hours, to be exact) reading through the book. I was deeply impacted not only by Dr. Harris' personal testimony of suffering as a Christian, but his encouragement and gentle reminder to have a biblical perspective for those who are walking their own Troaz Road.
Here are some of my thoughts of this morning's session of Hanging with Harris:
I have not personally experienced suffering in the slightest, and I in no way desire any discomfort in life. BUT to know the vast riches of true fellowship with Christ my Lord - how could I not long for and desire these things? I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to be merely satisfied with knowledge, even precise and accurate knowledge, of the triune God. I want to know Him intimately and personally. I mean, really intimately and really personally. Dr. Harris wrote,
"The glory of God is magnificent, and we should be glad when God grants us opportunity to see bits of it displayed, but it is incomplete. To know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings requires a stronger commitment, a deeper walk - but what riches await."When I think of heroes of the faith and even more "modern-day" saints, I can associate their sufferings with them. Here are but a few I wrote down earlier:
- Job - suffered more earthly detestations than perhaps any of us will ever experience yet never denounced the goodness of God
- Jeremiah - suffering took such a physical toll on him that he earned a title as the "weeping prophet" and continued to obey God
- Martin Luther - not only suffered physical extremities; he was even labeled as the original heretic, but his faith and diligent work exposed millions to the gospel message
- Elisabeth Elliot - suffered the death of her first husband, a martyr in the midst of ministry, and chose to push on with perseverance the work that he & teammates had started
"For into this purpose you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps..."Thinking of suffering for the sake of Christ - and I mean really thinking through suffering - has a truly sobering effect. Suddenly the world around me is less significant. My longing for being united with my Savior intensifies. The spiritually dead around me are more noticeable. Over time my interests and investments shift to more eternally significant agendas.
I cannot help but remember the chorus,
Turn your eyes upon JesusMay it be so.
look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this world
will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.