Have you ever felt like Jesus was asking too much of you? Have you ever been challenged by someone who thought that? I know I have had times when I have prayed, "No Lord I can't do this."
I am reading a biography with my younger two kids about the life of Richard Wunderbrand called A Voice in the Dark.
Richard W. is a pastor living in a communist country. He is imprisoned for his faith in Jesus. While there, a fellow prisoner challenges him with the very question I have posed here. I loved the answer so much that I just had to share it. :)
"Shuffling his feet Patrascanu muttered, 'I used to pray, but I gave it up.'
Surprised and quite intrigued Richard asked him why. 'Your Jesus asks too much. Especially when you are young.'
Very softly Richard shook his head.
'I've never though of it like that. In fact, I think of it like this...' Richard paused to gather his thoughts. 'I've told you of little Mihai?'
'Yes, Wurmbrand, many, many times.'
'Well, Mahai is quite small but he likes to buy his papa a birthday present. One year it was a book of poems, another year he bought me a pocketknife. He likes to buy something that I will enjoy. Mihai's eyes will light up when I open the parcel revealing his present inside. But the little fellow never has any money of his own to buy me presents. So every birthday he comes to me and asks for money and he goes with his mother to chose some little thing for his papa.'
The simple homely warmth of the story brought a warm glow to Patrascanu's heart.
'When Jesus asks us for faith, for strength, for commitment to him, if we ask him for these he will give them to us. So what he asks us for he will give us and we become better people as a result.'"
That is such a perfect description. No wonder Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30