Have you ever received encouragement from someone that is a wise old saint? I use the term “old” carefully here because what I really mean is someone who has been a Christian for at least 20 years longer than me :).
A few months ago, I met a wise old saint and his name is Ralph. I still don’t know him very well, although I sat under his teaching on the tabernacle for the past 10 weeks, I humbly realize that there is much more that I could learn from him.
However, if I never learned another thing about him, I already know the most important thing. Ralph is a valiant soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ! In my world, he is in the same platoon as my grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles and others who have dedicated their lives to the master’s service.
I now attend the same church as Ralph and I am not surprised to have learned that almost five years before I met him, he had heard about Mia’s battle with cancer and had begun to pray earnestly for her and for our family, with his men’s prayer group. I never knew this until I signed up for his Wednesday night class and he told me that he felt like he knew me because he had been praying for me. I share this so you can get a glimpse of this dear saint’s heart, which is simply and practically a reflection of Christ’s love and His compassion for mankind.
As we posture ourselves – remembering all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross – ponder with me something that Ralph sent to me today. I pray that it will challenge you to be “disturbed” to dream, “disturbed” to thirst, “disturbed” to hope and “disturbed” to believe more boldly.
Our Lord endured the cross for the joy set before Him. WE are that joy folks. Can you even imagine that? It was your face and mine that gave Him the strength to endure until He uttered the words, “it is finished” – freeing us from guilt, fear, inner hunger and emotional want – forever!
Ralph says, “I am greatly challenged by this prayer, penned and spoken by Sir Francis Drake in 1577, just three years before he set out on his epic journey on “The Golden Hind”. He was only the second person to circumnavigate the world. This was a remarkable feat, somewhat similar to those who first dared to travel to the moon and to land there. Let it speak to your spirit; it is never too late to take steps of faith in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Prayer of Sir Francis Drake (1577)
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we have arrived safely
Because we sailed too closely to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our hearts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the New Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
In the name of our courageous Captain, the Lord Jesus, Amen.
Today, my prayer is one of thankfulness for the gentle presence of wise old saints who gently encourage us to persevere – reaching for the highest destiny, alongside our courageous Captain – Jesus!