Recently, I have been juggling a lot of different responsibilities. Alas, I will never be on America’s Got Talent, juggling chainsaws in the air. I can’t even juggle tennis balls. I am hopeless at juggling life.
THE RIPTIDE OF RESPONSIBILITIES
As last week progressed, I felt pulled out by the riptide of responsibilities. I was failing at juggling them all. Then I came across a wonderful quote by the wonderful man of God, Charles Spurgeon. “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” Hmm, kissing the riptide? That’s quite foreign to my mindset. It is helpful to know the context for this Spurgeon quote. Michael Reeves in his book Spurgeon on the Christian Life: Alive in Christ wrote:
HIS MIND WAS NEVER THE SAME AGAIN
Aged twenty-two, as pastor of a large church and with twin babies at home to look after, Spurgeon was preaching to thousands in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall when pranksters yelled “fire,” starting a panic to exit the building which killed seven and left twenty-eight severely injured. His mind was never the same again.
STRESS BEGAN TO TAKE ITS TOLL
Then, from the age of thirty-three, physical pain became a large and constant feature of life for him. He suffered from a burning kidney inflammation called Bright’s Disease, as well as gout, rheumatism, and neuritis. The pain was such that it soon kept him from preaching for one-third of the time. Added to that, overwork, stress, and guilt about the stress began to take their toll. And all this was in the public eye and was jumped on by his many critics, not making it easier to bear. The suffering, they argued rather predictably, was a judgment from God.
JESUS FEELS WITH THE WEAKEST OF HIS CHOSEN
Again and again Spurgeon, returned to the theme of Christ’s compassion for his suffering people. In an 1890 sermon titled “The Tenderness of Jesus,” for example, he spoke, while feeling his own weakness, about Christ as the High Priest who feels for us in our infirmities. He said: “. . . . Jesus is touched, not with a feeling of your strength, but of your infirmity. Down here, poor, feeble nothings affect the heart of their great High Priest on high, who is crowned with glory and honor. As the mother feels with the weakness of her babe, so does Jesus feel with the poorest, saddest, and weakest of his chosen.”
CHRIST DRAWS NEAR TO US
In suffering, then, it is not only the case that we get to draw nearer to Christ, becoming more like him and leaning more fully on him. In such times Christ draws near to us to walk with his people in the furnace. And not only to walk with us but to bear us through. https://www.crossway.org/articles/did-you-know-that-charles-spurgeon-struggled-with-depression/
HE WANTS TO HANDLE THE JUGGLING
Yes, the chainsaws of life are still there, but as I lean into Christ, He wants to handle the juggling. He may have three chainsaws in the air, He might have only one, or He might say, “Let’s take a break from the chainsaws right now.” Jesus is walking with me and will bear me through. What a wonderful Savior Who can handle the handle the stressors of life.