This is a thought I have often pondered as I go through my life and different challenges arise for me.
One of the times I usually wonder this is during Holy Week and we look at the last few days of Jesus life as he goes to the crucifixion.
How easy it seems to condemn those Jews who cried out "crucify him, crucify him" as they stand before Pilate. Now I know, that we also know some people did not call for this and others were influenced by the Sadducee's and Pharisee's to be one of the crowd.
It seems easy in hindsight to say I would be one of those who would stand up and defend Jesus, BUT in reality would I have?
Would I have seen what I am able to see so clearly now with all the ability of hindsight to help me?
Would I have, even if I had known had the courage to stand up for what I believed in, would I have drawn attention to my self by daring to stand up? Because let us not forget that it was a whole lot more cruel and hard a time to live in!
It is so easy to say I WOULD stand up for what I believe and I do think I would but how can I really know?
I think it is only going through the trials and temptations before us that we can really know how we would react in any given situation.
Today as we listened to the bible story of Doubting Thomas~
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you.
27Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.
28Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.
29Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.
I again thought how easy it is to read this and say how foolish Thomas was not to believe. How could he doubt? He who knew Jesus, who walked and talked with Him and knew Him so intimately, how can he doubt?
But again I look into my own life and I see Thomas in all to many instances.
Again I ask How would I react...If?
When I was a young girl I still remember imagining in my mind a life far more exciting than mine. A life of action, adventure and being the heroine. Being the one who would save others and be recognised for these truly remarkable and brave actions.
In my mind it was real and vivid and I look back and think how great an imagination I had, and frankly still have.
I still love to read and watch on DVD the lives of not only great fictional characters but the lives of the saints and missionaries, and the way they did respond when asked to defend what they believed in.
There are so many wonderful stories out there (apart from the Bible) that I think can inspire us to live beyond what we think we can do. Books and movies that give us a glimpse of what a man or woman of character is like. These same characters real or imaginary, because I think a great fictional character can inspire as well, can help us prepare our hearts and souls with the virtues we need to be able to answer the question when asked-
How will I react....now.....in this situation.......
I want to be able to answer in the affirmative, that I will stand for what I believe in regardless of the cost. Will I be ready?
Well that depends on how I prepare myself doesn't it?
For me preparation means spending time reading my Bible, spending time in prayer, reading uplifting books and watching inspiring DVDs.
It means only opening my heart and mind to those things that uplift and encourage me. To say NO to those things I know do not fit the bill so to speak.
To say NO even to those things that while not being 'bad' for me by the same token do not allow me to give my best. For my time (as yours is too) is limited and I don't really have time to say YES to all the opportunities that present themselves to me.
I need to keep my focus on the Lord and what I know he has asked of me.....even when it means I will need to say NO to others, even if it means I have to resist some other seemingly great opportunities, even if it means I have to STAND ALONE.
And there it is the 'million dollar question' where the 'rubber meets the road'- can I do it?
I want to! I hope so! I pray I can!
I believe I can with faith in my Lord and the perseverance to endure!
And I pray you can too♥
Blessings to you and your homes,