“How am I straitened (pained) till it be accomplished” (Luke 12:50).
“He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied” (Isa. 53:11).
Service without sacrifice secures no results, no achievement, no victory that is worth the name. If we would keep our life we shall lose it, but if we empty it out in loving service we shall make it a lasting blessing to the world. No high thing can be done easily or without cost. To be consumed in God’s work as “a living sacrifice” means burning up and burning out; the candle will grow shorter and the battery weaker. That is a true symbol of the consecrated life, which is inscribed on the tomb of Dr. Adam Clarke—a burning candle, with the superscription, “I give light by being myself consumed.” We give light by giving up our lives to Him Who loved us. We are consumed by the zeal of His house while we carry light and salvation to those for whom He died.
(From New Testament Holiness by Thomas Cook. Used by permission of the Epworth Press).
A woman leaving church heavily burdened over the condition of slavery, put up a silent prayer to God to help her in a humble but effective way to smite a blow for the freedom of the slaves. Her answer came through an inspiration to write the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and being a wife and mother, she set out to write it under great difficulties. This is what it cost her: “I suffered exquisitely in writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” she tells us. “It may be truly said that I wrote it with my heart’s blood. Many times in writing I thought my health would fail utterly, but I prayed earnestly that God would help me through.” Is it any wonder that her book is still widely read?
Again, how many of us have not been greatly helped through the reading of Hudson Taylor’s life by Mrs. Howard Taylor? Her writings are still blessing many although the author has gone on. Why? She tells us the secret: “How well I understand your feeling about the difference it makes HOW a life is written. This one, good as it is (a biography we had just read), seems to me to stop short of the mark, short of really reproducing in some degree the spiritual power of the life itself. It is one thing to tell about it, is it not, and another to make it, in some sense, live again? That is what I long for so much in your dear father’s life: that it may live again! But that is what it costs. It counts, it is the one thing that counts. But no one knows, except the Lord Himself, all that it costs. And that is what takes TIME, as well as lifeblood. It cannot be done to order. One has to live—not merely think and write. I live in this book and for it in a way no words can tell.”