Little Book of Courage for Christians

 

"To try to be brave is to be brave." - George MacDonald

 

While Karina was in the fight of her life, we all had to be brave  - but now our bravery has taken a different character. I'm going to start organizing my favorite inspirational passages during this time and hope it might be helpful to someone else. 

 

Recently I came across Dick Tripp's wonderful Nature of Heaven and Rolland Hein's blog posts on George MacDonald, and I realize you never know how helpful it might be just putting something out on the web to the world. I had just read Back of the North Wind and I found Hein's writings so helpful.  

So any way, here goes - I'm going to start posting quotes here - and then perhaps group them over time. Maybe I can put them into a 365 day devotional or something like that - and put it out as a Kindle book. Or maybe I'll just collect things here. Other favs, letters of Samuel Rutherford, Dietrich Boenhoffer, little bits from Jonathan Edwards, and also C.S. Lewis (but I don't recommend his Grief Observed -). I'll include some helpful Bible passages and hymn verses too. 

 

I don't know if anyone is finding these pages, but again who knows. The burden is light and it's helpful to me. Some day maybe it'll be helpful to someone else.

 

If you have some quotes or verses that you like - please share them. 

 

George MacDonald  (I'll create other pages for other authors - GM had so many wonderful things to say)

 

Beautiful Soul

 

“I watched her departure, as one watches a sunset. She went like a radiance through the dark wood, which was henceforth bright to me, from simply knowing that such a creature was in it.”

 

Death and Assurance

 

Our child is gone from us, but we are following after, and I shall hold her yet again to my soul…The only cure for everything is Christ in us. 

 

The world will be like a dream to you after this, a constant waiting for something at hand. Your dearest are nearly all out of sight now; but it is not visible proximity but love that is the bond, the oneness. Well as you know Him, greatly as you loved Him, you will know Him better, love Him better now. Be sure of this, the grandest thing is a purer grander thing yet.

 

Surely God that clothes the fields now with the wild flowers risen fresh from their winter-graves, will keep his beauty in His remembrance and not let a manifestation of Himself, as every human form is, so full of the true simple, noble and pure, be forgotten.

 

Surely if we are sure of God, we are sure of everything: He never gave a good gift like a child to take it back again…

 

Surely God that clothes the fields now with the wild flowers risen fresh from their winter-graves, will keep his beauty in His remembrance and not let a manifestation of Himself, as every human form is, so full of the true simple, noble and pure, be forgotten.

 

She has only gone nearer to One who loves her more dearly and tenderly than you do…I feel that if I had been in the spirit world before she came, I should have taken her to my heart so warmly that my little sister would soon have felt at home in the new place…She will be kept quite safe for you there, an dyou will never be separated from her in heart. ..God would not let it be the law of His Universe if it were what it looks to us. 

 

Do not think I am unhappy. I am glad he has got through. I love him more than ever. I am cheerful and hopeful.

 

...life at the longest is not so very long, and you will find him again by and by. He is only laid by for you- like a precious thought of God’s goodness laid up in the mind, and known to be there..If God age to take away again, he would not be the God that Jesus has taught us to know. 

 

...but there is the one who makes the joy the last in every song” and no trial is too sad which makes us look more to the eternal love- the great sea on which all other loves are but the surface waves. None of us will live very long here, and then we shall go into the great unknown wondrous world, which so many of our dear friends know already, and where they are quietly awaiting our arrival

 

He will be to all eternity your own child. 

 

We have no more lost him than the disciples lost their Lord when he went away that he might come closer to them than ever. Life is not very long in this place. All we have to mind is to do our work, while the chariot of God’s hours is bearing us to the higher life beyond.

 

He was - he is - my friend. He understood me, and gave me to understand him…How glad and quiet he must be now the struggle is over! My heart clings to him. How I could have served and waited on him, had that been in my power or his need!  Who knows but he may help us all now in ways that we cannot understand. But the best is, we are all going to him. The one God be with him and us.

The Lord of the promise is the Lord of all true parables and all good fairy tales.

Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad.

 

Our child is gone from us, but we are following after, and I shall hold her yet again to my soul…

 

My wife suffers much still.But she sorely wants her child to talk to  just for a little while. 

 

The world will be like a dream to you after this, a constant waiting for something at hand. Your dearest are nearly all out of sight now; but it is not visible proximity but love that is the bond, the oneness. Well as you knew him, greatly as you loved him, you will know him better, love him better now. 

 

My boy is of course dearer to me than before, and we shall find him again, with his love as fresh as the life that cannot die. 

 

If I did not hope in the risen Christ, where should my life be now! But I desire to hasten on my way that I may find my childrenn again—and all my dear ones who have gone before me. Neither Louisa nor I knew much about death till those two were taken from us within the year—and now we know its terror and its comfort.

 

This world, if it were alone, would not be worth much—I should be miserable already; but it is the porch to the Father’s home, and he does not expect us to be quite happy.

 

I have never known such a time. Friend after friend going— more than one not dead, but more or less earned. But our hope is in heaven. God comes nearer and nearer. If only we went as fast as he was drawing us…If we would but understand that we are pilgrims and strangers! It is no use trying to nestle down.

 

God could not be satisfied with himself without doing all that a God and Father could do for the creatures he had made --- that is, without doing just what he has done, what he is doing, what he will do, to deliver his sons and daughters, and bring them home with rejoicing.

 

The greatest bliss is just the one thing we cannot do without. As often as we get a little glimmer of truth, we are ready to feel as if now we could get on and be at peace a while; whereas it is every moment a breathing of God’s breath, a walking with God, a thinking of God’s thoughts, a consciousness of His presence as our deepest being; this is what we need, to live other than a broken,half-slavish life. Every breath we draw, that, for all we feel to the contrary, might have come from a dead law of existence, and is not the wind, the air, the breath of God to us, is but a kind of death to our deepest self. Only He is behind the death even, and is bringing life out of all death.

 

Death, like high faith leveling, lifteth all. 

When I awake, my daughter and my son,

Grown sister and brother, in my arms shall fall,

Tenfold my girl and boy.

 

Death as the Beginning of a New Life

 

How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset.

 

“Often in the summer, as I go to or come from the vestry, I sit down
for a moment on the turf that covers my old friend Rodgers, and think
that this body of mine is everyday moldering away, til it shall fall a
heap of dust into it's appointed place. But what is that to me? It is
to me the drawing nigh of the fresh morning of life when I shall be
young and strong again, glad in the presence of the wise and beloved
dead, and unspeakably glad in the presence of God.” 

 

“The back door of every tomb opens on a hilltop.” 

 

"...no man sinks into the grave. He only disappears. Life is a constant sunrise, which death cannot interrupt, any more than the night can swallow up the sun. "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him."

 

God will be better to us than we think, however expectant we may be

 

Focus on Heaven and Eternity

 

The sun shines, the wind blows soft, the summer is in the land; but your summer sun and your winter fire is gone, and the world is waste to you. So let it be. Your life is hid with Christ in God, at the heart of all summers --- so “comfort thyself” that this world will look by and by a tearful dream fading away in the light of the morning.

 

God could not be satisfied with himself without doing all that a God and Father could do for the creatures he had made --- that is, without doing just what he has done, what he is doing, what he will do, to deliver his sons and daughters, and bring them home with rejoicing.

 

Already I feel the light shadows of the Evening are looking at me from over the western horizon. But I travel to the East in my soul, to leave them behind. Let us work well while the evening closes in around us & when we lie down at last God will give a glorious waking to all our dreams; all that was lovely in them we shall find true.

 

Next month I shall be 70, and I am humbler a good deal than when I was 29. To be rid of self is to have the heart bare to God and to the neighbour --- to have all life ours, and possess all things. I see in my mind's eye, the little children clambering up to sit on the throne with Jesus. My God, art Thou not as good as we are capable of imagining Thee? Shall we dream a better goodness than Thou hast ever thought of? Be Thyself, and all is well with us.

 

God's Comfort Through Pain and Suffering

 

“I fear you will never arrive at an understanding of God so long as you cannot bring yourself to see the good that often comes as a result of pain. For there is nothing, from the lowest, weakest tone of suffering to the loftiest acme of pain, to which God does not respond. There is nothing in all the universe which does not in some way vibrate within the heart of God. No creature suffers alone; He suffers with His creatures and through it is in the process of bringing His sons and daughters through the cleansing and glorifying fires, without which the created cannot be made the very children of God, partakers of the divine nature and peace.”

 

It seems to me, too, that in thinking of the miseries and wretchedness in the world we seldom think of the other side. We hear of an event in association with some certain individual, and we say, "How dreadful! How miserable!". But we do not see into the region of actual suffering or conflict... We do not see the heart where the shock falls. We neither see the proud bracing of energies to meet the ruin that threatens, nor the gracious faint in which the weak escape from writhing. We do not see the abatement of pain which is Paradise to the tortured; we do not see the gentle upholding in sorrow that comes even from the ministrations of nature --- not to speak of human nature --- to delicate souls. In a word, we do not see, and the sufferer himself does not understand, how God is present every moment, comforting, upholding, heeding that the pain shall not be more than can be borne, making the thing possible and not hideous. I say nothing of the peaceable fruits that are to spring therefrom; and who shall dare to say where they shall not follow upon such tearing up of the soil?

 

God's Love

 

I told my people that God had created all our worships, reverences, tendernesses, loves. That they had come out of His heart, and He had made them in us because they were in Him first. That otherwise He would not have cared to make them. That all that we could imagine of the wise, the lovely, the beautiful, was in Him, only infinitely more of them than we could not merely imagine, but understand, even if He did all He could to explain them to us, to make us understand them.

 

God's Will

 

More and more I see and feel that what the Father is thinking is my whole treasure and well being. To be one with him seems the only common sense, as well as the only peace. Let him do with you, my beloved son, as he wills. Be hearty with his will. Submission is not the right feeling when we say, "Thy will be done." This will is the only good...

 

Heaven and Eternity

 

"'That's too good to be true,' said Nanny.

 

"'There are very few things good enough to be true,' said Diamond; 'but I hope this is. Too good to be true it can't be. Isn't true good? and isn't good true? And how, then, can anything be too good to be true?'"

 

The imagination of man is made in the image of the imagination of God

 

Do you not find your spirit drawing yet closer to the great heart that has seemed to leave you for a while? I ask this, because I think the law of the spirit is really the law of the universe; that as, when the Lord vanished from the sight of his friends, they found him in their hearts, far nearer then than before, so when any one like him departs, it is but, like him to come nearer in the one spirit of truth and love…

 

Not Alone

 

The church grew very lonely about him, and he began to feel like a child whose mother has forsaken it. Only he knew that to be left alone is not always to be forsaken.

 

I would I were in the kingdom of heaven if it be as you and Mr. Graham take it for!" said Clementina.

 

"You must be in it, my lady, or you couldn't wish it to be such as it is."

 

Do you not find your spirit drawing yet closer to the great heart that has seemed to leave you for a while? I ask this, because I think the law of the spirit is really the law of the universe; that as, when the Lord vanished from the sight of his friends, they found him in their hearts, far nearer then than before, so when any one like him departs, it is but, like him to come nearer in the one spirit of truth and love…

 

The universe would be to me no more than a pasteboard scene, all surface and no deepness, on the stage, if I did not hope in God. I will not say believe, for that is a big word, and it means so much more than my low beginnings of confidence But a little faith may wake a great big hope, and I look for great things from him whose perfection breathed me out that I might be a perfect thing one day. The more we trust, the more reasonable we find it to trust. 

 

Patience

 

The principle part of faith is patience.

 

Never be discouraged because good things get on so slowly here; and never fail daily to do that good which lies next to your hand.Do not be in a hurry, but be diligent. Enter into the sublime patience of the Lord. Trust to God to weave your little thread into the great web, though the pattern shows it not yet. When God's people are able and willing thus to labor and wait, remember that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; the grand harvest of the ages shall come to its reaping, and the day shall broaden itself to a thousand years, and the thousand years shall show themselves as a perfect and finished day.

 

Sorrow and Joy Intertwined

 

“As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy.”

 

Work to Be Done

 

“Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”