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WALK WITH YOU
During WW2, two young Jews lived as close friends, (BFFs, we can call them), more than real brothers in a dingy Nazi concentration camp jammed with helpless-hopeless-exhausted-abused Jews. They shared everything, literally everything. One day, one of them felt weak and started to lose weight noticeably. His malnourished body deteriorated until he can no longer perform his daily assigned errands. He knew what that meant -- death in a gas chamber.
That night, his boorish Nazi guards advised him not to report to work the following day. He lay down on his worn out couch, scared and alone. He was unable to sleep even for a second. Morning broke and he was dragged into a line of queasy people, young and old, men and women. But on that lethargic line he saw his friend with a grim face yet with a smile of empathy. Before he could say a word his friend said, "I've walked with you through life; I'm going to walk with you to death."
The Lord Jesus did far more than that. He willingly walked through the agony of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we can wonderfully walk through the ecstasy of praise. He humbly followed the pathway of disgrace, the walkway of "via dolorosa", so that we can happily fly through the skyway of grace, the airway of "via soteria."
(From a sermon by Jofry Bustamante, Facing the Hard Realities of Life! 2/20/2011)
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The fire has finally died. It’s been snuffed out: Dampened by the coldness of betrayal, denial and doubt. No more glowing embers: Just a few dusty cinders remain laying in one clump. No more smoldering flares: Instead, just a few whiffs of smoke here and there. No more crackles, hisses or snaps of the fire-engulfed logs: just the scent of scorched firewood teasing the senses. Not one piece of wood left to even kindle a new flame: Just a pile of ash being stirred by a slight breeze of evilness.
This had been a blaze that had raged through the hearts and minds of those that had gathered near its warmth. It overtook each life that came into its path of edification and encouragement. It had been a non-consuming fire that burned with fervor and zeal; having been driven by the winds of empathy and benevolence. This inferno of divine devotion and earthly affection now has been extinguished by the loathing thoughts and deeds of the evil doer of all time – Satan.
One would think being the so called “master” of fire and flame, he too would have enjoyed being amid the licking tongues of fire from the true Master’s blaze of glory. But yet, he chose instead to attempt to quench this fire so that it would never flare-up again. To extinguish its illumination into the darkness of the world as well as its affectionate warmth felt by those who came near its loving glow.
Having now achieved his goal for the time being, Satan swept up the remains and placed them in a seal tomb. There’s no way now for even those who had been the closest to the fire to be able to gather the ashes in attempt to reignite the blaze once again. Besides, once the flames had been snuffed out those who had been deeply dedicated had now scattered far and wide. Some were fearful for their lives and distanced themselves from one and all; others just a little worried as they sit in waiting for the next move; a few anxious to sit near the fire once again.