Astonishing Love
Tim Temple


Many of us were entertained by the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Japan. It was fascinating to see those ceremonies as the athletes paraded into the stadium, and they were preceded by a Japanese Sumo wrestler and other wrestlers along the way and by those little children. Then we saw those guys who climbed up poles as they were being raised into the air and then got on top of poles and danced around. If we had seen Sumo wrestlers in our country, we would check them off as couch potatoes who were willing to wear their bathrobes in public. We would probably dismiss the pole dancers as some kind of a college fraternity prank; but we discovered in hearing the explanation of all that that the Sumo wrestlers in that country are accorded status that we reserve only for NFL quarterbacks and that the pole dancers have a high place in the arts and the culture of Japan.

That reminds me of a story somewhat similar to that which took part on a much smaller scale here in our own church building a few years ago when some of the women were here having a reception or some kind of a function. They had been serving tea and cookies and whatever else that involves and the wife of the pastor to our Spanish congregation came hurrying in where those women were. She said, “I have got to have a piece of that pie or some cookies or something. There is a woman with whom my husband is counseling, and in the country that woman came from if anyone in a particular building were eating food, then everybody in the building should be offered some. She would be greatly offended if we didn't at least offer her some of what they were eating, even if it was in another part of the building.”

The reason that I am going into those things is that they demonstrate for us the difference in culture that we have within our world today. They demonstrate “foreignness” and how some things as we first see them may look very strange to us and we don't understand why they are done that way. It might be just amusing to us or it might be scandalous, but they look so different to us and then we find out that they have a very important place in the culture of that other nation.

That sets the stage for what John says to his readers in I John, chapter 3, verses 1-3. John, you remember, was the apostle of Jesus who wrote a letter to some Christians who were living at the end of the first century, and God preserved this letter by inspiration and by protection for us who are living here in this century. The fascinating thing is that it is still so relevant to the situations that we face even here more than two thousand years later. Look with me at I John, chapter 3, beginning in verse 1:

I John 3:

1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

In verse 1 Paul begins with an exclamation. Notice he says, “Behold.” Jesus used that word behold a lot and maybe that is why John uses it here. Because Jesus did use it a lot, those of us who are familiar with the New Testament tend to just read right past that word. We take it for granted and do not stop to think about what it might mean, but it is especially important to notice that as familiar as this word might be, it does have a specific and particular meaning. What John is saying to his readers is, “Here is something very important I am about to say.” It is what a coach might say to his team when they are in the locker room getting ready to go into a big game and he calls them together and he says, “Listen up guys. Here is what we are going to do,” and reviews the strategy with them. It might be the kind of thing an announcer says in a crowded airport terminal or in some other place where there is a lot of noise and activity going on and he says in that deep, melodious voice, “May I have your attention, please?” That is the idea of behold. “Behold. Listen. Here is something special,” John says, and notice what that special thing is. “Behold, think about this. What manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us.”

Significant to notice is the word manner . That is a translation of a Greek word that was usually used in conjunction with foreign countries, and it would have been perfectly legitimate to translate this phrase, “Behold, what strange manner of love.” “Behold, what foreign manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” That was why I was talking about these other cultures because what John is telling us here is that the love of God which He has bestowed upon us is a strange and different and even foreign kind of love and that is something that we need to think about.

Kenneth Weist was a Greek professor at Moody Bible Institute for many years and has written a number of very helpful commentaries based on the Greek text. He didn't live long enough to finish commentaries on all of the books of the New Testament, but he did develop and publish an expanded translation of the New Testament that is much more literally based on the Greek than any other translation I have seen. The word order is exactly as it is in the Greek New Testament and the flavors of the words are woven in. I am surprised that his New Testament hasn't sold more than it has. As far as I know, it is not even in print any more. But in his translation of the New Testament, he says, “Behold, what an exotic kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” That conjures up the ideas that we have of foreign countries that we haven't visited before—the strange and exotic things that we may see if we go there and visit. “What a strange kind of love. What an exotic kind of love,” John says, “the Father has bestowed upon us.”

What is that? What is that strange and exotic and different kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us? It is that we should be called children of God. What an amazing thing! What a strange thing! What a different kind of thing that the God of the universe would call us His children! That is really strange and different.

Someone might say, “Isn't everybody the child of God? We talk about the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and didn't God create all human beings? What is so strange and different and even exotic about us being called the children of God?” What is strange about it is that we are fallen, sinful human creatures. If we are honest with ourselves, we might realize, as those first readers in John's day who didn't have two thousand years of tradition to back them up and to base their opinions on, what a strange thing that God would call you His child, that God would call me His child. All you have to do is think honestly about yourself to realize how strange and different and foreign that is.

Not All God's Children

I can't remember the whole story, but the punchline of the story was that as the pastor came to stand in front of the people in his congregation, there were people in the congregation looking at him and thinking, “Is this the man of God?”, and the preacher was standing there looking out at the congregation and he was saying, “Are these the people of God?” It is a strange thing that you and I could be called children of God. As someone said, “What about this thing about the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man? Aren't we all God's children?” As I said a moment ago the answer to that is, “No, we are not all God's children.” John, chapter 1, verse 12, says:

John 1:

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

This is not something that is automatic. It is not something that comes by means of having been born into the human race, having been created by God. Galatians, chapter 3, verse 26, says:

Galatians 3:

26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Without Strength

John is writing his letter to people who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and the Scripture makes clear that only those are His children. It may be that you have come to know the Lord as a young child or maybe you came to the Lord out of a quiet and passive background and that is not as impressive to you as it might be to those of us who know what sin is, so for that reason I want to ask you to turn with me to Romans, chapter 5. For most of you this is review, but let's look again at what the Scripture tells us about our true condition as sinners before God. Notice, beginning with verse 6, Paul says:

Romans 5:

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Stop there with verse 10 and think about this for a moment. In verse 6, he says that the amazing thing about this love of God is that He gave it to us while we were without strength. Some of you lived long enough before Christ found you that you can remember what it was like to be worried about the concept of eternity, to be concerned about facing an Almighty God, to have wondered what you would say to God that would convince Him to allow you into His Heaven. Incidentally, those are powerful thoughts to entertain, and I would encourage you to think about that. Why would God let you into His Heaven? If you don't know the answer to that, then you need to keep listening very carefully because Jesus Christ died for us while we were without strength.

Millions of people all over the world are putting themselves through all kinds of grueling exercises, religious campaigns, various kinds of penance that they do, hoping that somehow they will be able to be acceptable to God, and yet they do that because they realize they are without strength. They spend their whole lives doing it because they are without strength. They cannot attain to the level of God. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one,” the Scripture says. It tells us in the Old Testament that even our righteousnesses are as filthy rags because they have been used up in the doing. Whatever good works we have done have accomplished whatever good work they have accomplished and therefore they are used up. They are like filthy rags. They cannot be used for salvation. There is nothing with which we can come before God and say, “This is why You should let me into Heaven.” We are without strength. There is nothing that we can do to be acceptable to God.

Then he goes on in verse 8 to carry it a step further. He says, “Not only were we without strength, but while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” The reason we have no strength is that we are sinners. Every one of us has sinned and comes short of the glory of God. In fact, in Romans, chapter 3, verse 23, is the definition of sin. Anything that is less perfect than God is perfect is sin; and because God is perfect, He cannot have fellowship with anything that is even slightly less perfect than He is. All have sinned. What is sin? It is coming short of the glory of God. Are you as perfect as God is?

Christ Died For His Enemies

Some of you are very upright, kind and good and generous people, but let me tell you, on the authority of the Word of God, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Some people only barely fall short of the glory of God and some have fallen far short of the glory of God, but all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Paul wrote to the Romans here in chapter 6, verse 8, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us; but if that were not enough, down in verse 10 he says that Christ died for us while we were His enemies.

Someone says, “I don't know about that. I have never attacked God. I have never made war against God,” but at the same time all of us, before we knew Christ and sometime to some extent after we know Christ, do those things that are against His program. We do those things that are against His instructions. We do those things that slow down what He wants to do in our lives and in our world. At least in that sense, if no other, we are the enemies of God; and while we were enemies, Christ died for us.

That is what John is talking about as we go back to I John, chapter 3. What strange kind of love. Who would do this kind of thing? Who would die for his enemies? Who would give his only son to die for their enemies? In fact, that death of the Son of God is in some senses even more impressive. A little child one time said, “If God loved me so much, why didn't He die for me Himself?” The daddy said, “Honey, you won't understand this until you are a parent, but it would be a lot easier for me to die than for me to send you to die.” God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He sent His Son, His precious only Son, to die for us. What a strange, foreign, exotic kind of love. John says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.”

The New King James text doesn't include this phrase, but some of the better manuscripts of the Greek text and most of the other translations of the New Testament add the phrase, “…and such we are.” What manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we could be called the children of God, and such we are.” If you have trusted Christ as your Savior, you are a child of God. You are a member of the family of God. It is true. It is a strange, exotic, foreign kind of love, but God has bestowed it upon us. He has called us His children. It is a fact.

If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, these things don't apply to you. If you have never come to that place in your life when you have said, “Yes, I believe that Christ died for my sins. I will depend upon the work that He did upon the Cross to satisfy God's wrath and judgment upon me. I will accept the fact that God is satisfied with Christ's payments for my sin,” you, too, can become a child of God. If you have never done that before, this is the moment to do that. You are not assured of anything beyond this moment. You may live another fifty years. You may not live to see the end of this day, and it is something that must be settled today. My prayer is that the Spirit of God will open your eyes and your heart to that truth and you will trust Him as your Savior today. God has bestowed that wonderful treasure upon us.

John Explains

Going on in verse 1, John, having made that exclamation, carries it a step further and gives us an explanation. He explains something that most of us already know by experience. In the last sentence of verse 1:

I John 3:

1…therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

It is a wonderful thing that we are the children of God, but the frustrating thing is that the world doesn't know that. Sometimes I think it would be helpful if, when we accept Christ as Savior, He would turn our eyes pink or He would put a big cross on our forehead or He in some way would make it visible that we are His children and put a visible brand on us. There are times when that would be awkward and embarrassing, but the trouble is that the world, the unsaved, those who haven't accepted Christ, don't know who we are just by looking at us. But it is more than that that John has in mind—not just that they don't know who we are; not just that they recognize us visibly, but the fact is that they don't understand us because we know we are from a different culture. To the world, we are like those Sumo wrestlers who to us appear to be grossly overweight, walking around in a bathrobe. The world looks at us, and they do not understand that we are the children of God.

If you haven't discovered that yet, you need to because it is true. You may not realize that that is the way people are looking at you. New Christians find that out quickly. They come to understand that they are a child of God and they quickly go home to tell their family and their friends and many times they are met with confusion, consternation or sometimes even outright rejection. They say, “Well, who are you to talk to me like that? You think you are better than I am. Is that what you mean? Holier than thou, better than me?” Some of you have been through that, haven't you? That is because the world doesn't know us, they don't understand us. If you are going to live by God's standards, if you are going to be a child of God, you need to be prepared for the fact that the world is not going to understand that. That truth is all through the New Testament. All of the writers warned us of that, and it is something that we need to be prepared for and it is something that we need to be willing to live with because it has a very important result that we will be talking about in just a few minutes.

Think about this. The world doesn't know us because it didn't know Him. Let's be honest with ourselves. Probably very few of us manifest the life of Jesus Christ to the people around us on any kind of a consistent basis. I am sure there are a few who do in a group this size. But most of us do not really show forth Jesus Christ on any kind of a consistent basis. Maybe flashes of it here and there. Maybe instances of it here and there, but on a regular, ongoing basis, I am afraid that many times people don't see God's glory in us, so it is no wonder that they understand us because they don't even see anything different about us so many times. But Jesus, the Son of God, walked about on the earth for thirty-three and one half years, and from the beginning He radiated the presence of God. People knew that there was something different about Him, but they didn't know what it was. They didn't understand Him. They rejected Him; they turned away from Him and ultimately they crucified Him even though He was the Son of God. So John comforts us a little bit. He says, “They don't understand us, but that is because they didn't understand Him.”

I am afraid there are many, many Christians, probably all of us to some extent, who spend a great deal of time and effort and energy trying to not be different from the world. Sometimes we even convince ourselves that that is the way to win people to Christ—that we don't want to be different. We don't want to be thought odd. We don't want to be thought strange, so we will go to the places they go and we will talk the language they talk and we will listen to their dirty jokes and we will watch the same smutty stuff on television that they watch because, after all, we don't want to be too different.

To do that, if we understand the concept of the Scripture here, is to go around pretending that we are some other skin color than we are. When everybody can see that we are not the skin color that we are pretending to be, we need to be prepared to be thought different. Someone says, “How are we going to win people to Christ if they think we are so different? Why would God set it up that way? Why would He make us so the world doesn't understand us? Why would He make us that way if He wants us to win people to Christ?” He did that, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians in I Corinthians, chapter 1, so that He can get the glory. God has chosen to use you and me to reach out to the people around us with the message of Jesus Christ. In doing that, He has chosen to use people who the unbelievers don't understand. If we walk in fellowship with Jesus Christ, if we understand we are children of God, then our lives are going to be different and God has chosen to use we who are His children who are different and whom the world doesn't understand, to win the world.

How can that happen? Only God could do something like that, and that is why He set it up that way. So when someone comes to Christ, it is not going to be because we think we are such a neat guy. It is not going to be because we are so much like them; it is going to be because they know that they are sinners and they are in need of a Savior and Jesus Christ can be that Savior. How much we are like them is probably going to be a negative in that.

God saves them in spite of us. It may be, without them ever telling us, that what they are attracted to is our “differentness,” that we are not like them. Regardless of that, God has chosen to save men and women through our testimony even though He makes it extremely clear they do not understand us, and they do not understand Christ. We need to be careful that we do not try to find ways to accommodate ourselves.

That doesn't mean that we are to go around trying to be obnoxious or go around trying to be distasteful to the people around us. I have seen some Christians that I think must think that is what it means. We are to be as nice and polite as we can and we are to keep ourselves clean and presentable; but if we live by God's standards, we are going to be different because God's standards are different from the standards of the world. The farther and farther our world gets away from God's standards, as we see it continually moving today, the more different we are going to be even if we don't move. Because that is true, our tendency is to continue to drift and we stay a little behind the world and we think, “I am not like them,” but we are farther away from God's standards by moving with them. They don't understand us. That is a fact, and let's understand it and let God work through that.

Our Expectation

In the next two verses, he talks about the expectation that we have. He gave us an exclamation and he makes an explanation. In verses 2-3 he tells us about the expectation that we have because of that. Notice verse 2 again:

I John 3:

2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

The key word of verse 2 is the word now . In the Greek text, it is the first word in the sentence and that is always the way of indicating the importance of that word. Usually it is an indication that that word is the theme of the whole sentence, so what John originally wrote was: “Now Beloved we are the children of God…” You see, John wants to emphasize and it is going to be the theme now in these next two verses, that we have eternal life already. We are already God's children. When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, it is not that that just qualifies us to go to Heaven and someday be His children in Heaven. When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, the Word of God says in this passage and many others, “Now, we are the sons of God.” The moment we trust Christ as Savior, He sends His Holy Spirit into us as a seal of our redemption, as a sign of our redemption, and we become His children at that moment. As we walk with Him as His children, living on this earth, at some point in time He calls us from this earth into His presence, but eternal life is already begun and some of us have lived eternal life now for twenty and thirty and forty years of eternal life as children of God on this earth. We are now the children of God.

That is very important for us to remember because I think there are Christians who think maybe subconsciously, “Well, when I get to Heaven, then I will be holy. When I get to Heaven, I will be a child of God and I will be in His presence and I will praise Him and worship Him because I will be in eternal life.” No, we are in eternal life now and we are just as much responsible to God now and we have just as much of the power of God now as we will have when we have been in Heaven for ten thousand years as the hymn writer says. Right now we are the children of God, but the next line says, “Even though we are the children of God right now, we don't know what we will be like.” Not only does the world not understand us, but there is a sense in which we don't understand ourselves. We don't really know all that is going to be ours when we stand in God's presence. Even though eternal life has already begun for us, we don't really know what that is going to be like.

As you know, during the past year—it happens every year—some of our church family have gone on to Heaven to be with the Lord ahead of us. It happens on a regular basis. Those of us who have loved ones in Heaven think often about what it must be like there. I have lots of ideas about that, but the interesting thing is that we don't really know what that is going to be like. It is also interesting to notice that everything we do know about it is stated in the negative case—no more tears, no more crying, no more sickness, no more death, no more pain. There is nothing wrong with stating it that way, but it is just interesting that it is stated that way. In order to realize what Heaven is going to be like and what our lives are ultimately going to be like, we have to put the positive aspect on those, but we don't really know what we are going to be like.

Great Certainties

He moves on in the second sentence of verse 2 to give us great certainty. He says:

I John 3:

2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Certain things are brought out there in the end of verse 3. The first certainty is that we will see Him. We know that we will see Him, not if we see Him, but when we see Him. We will see Jesus Christ someday. That is the most certain fact in all of history. It has God's seal of promise on it. We will see Him someday.

We have been told all of our lives that there are only two things certain—death and taxes. You know that is a lie. We know that not everybody pays taxes, and we also know that the Word of God says that there is going to be a generation of human beings who are not going to go through death, but at the Rapture will go directly into God's presence. So even death and taxes are not certain, but here is something that is certain: We will see Him. That is the first certainty.

The second certainty is when we do, we shall see Him as He is. Interesting and frustrating that we don't have any pictures of Jesus. I have spent time wondering what Jesus will look like and have picked out various people that I think maybe Jesus would have looked like. We have a lot of drawings of people's ideas of what He must have looked like and what He would look like if He were here on earth today. There is nothing wrong with that and, in fact, in a way it can be a blessing to think about what Jesus might have looked like as a way of meditating on Him; but we don't know what He looked like. We don't know what He looks like now. We don't know what He looked like physically, and we don't know what He looks like spiritually. We don't understand all there is to know about Jesus.

We look at Jesus, and we think of Jesus now, somewhat like a dog with his master. We have always had a lot of animals around our house, but when Adrienne went to college, the animals began to diminish. They were mostly her animals and she has outlived all of them now. The last of her animals went to doggy heaven last summer. We were pretty delighted about that, but the longer he is gone, the sadder we are about that. We don't have any grandchildren, but we have a granddog. Nancy has a dog that is almost human and some of you have dogs that are almost human. It is a sad thing when a pet dies, but a dog or a cat or other kinds of pets seem to understand when we are happy. They wag their tails and they jump around and they know we are happy or when we are sad. A lot of times a dog will be sad and droopy along with us. They somehow sense what is going on. As long as we are limited to this human life, we are somewhat like those animals. We see the things of God and we see the promises of God for the future and we understand them. Paul says, “We see them as in a mirror darkly in this life, but someday face to face we will see Him as He is.”

A third certainty is we will be like Him—when we see Him, we will be like Him. I have to confess that for many years I thought that verse said, “When we see Him, we will become like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” That may be a part of what the verse means, but in the context of what John is talking about, I believe that it is not saying we will suddenly become like Him, but that we will be able to see that we are like Him because God is at work in our lives in this. We have eternal life, and God is working in our lives during this eternal life that has already begun. He is working on us to make us more like Jesus Christ. When we stand in His presence, either by death or by rapture, and we see Him as He is, we will suddenly realize, “I am like Him; He is like me.” How has that taken place? The Scripture tells us in many places that God is at work to make that happen.

Let me just quickly mention II Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 17, where Paul said:

II Corinthians 4:

17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

It is amazing that Paul would refer to his afflictions as light with all that he went through. Some of you are having tremendous troubles and pressures today, and some of you are facing difficult days and hard times. Paul tells us in other places that these things come into our lives to make us like Jesus Christ. Sometimes we face a trial and if we know very much about the Word we think, “This is for me to learn something from,” or “Help me to learn my lesson from this,” and we go through and sometimes we see some progress and we believe that we are maturing and learning from that difficulty; but time goes by and we feel like we have learned our lesson, but the trouble continues. The testing doesn't let up and we say, “Lord, why is this continuing? I think I have learned my lesson now.” You see, the fact is that we won't fully understand until we see Him and see how much like Him we have become. There may be some immediate lesson that God wants to teach us in that suffering and we think it is time for the testing and suffering to stop now, but God knows that there is still some more shaping and chiseling that needs to be done, not just for this immediate life but for that fact that when we stand in His presence, we will be like Him. The more we go through in this life and the more we allow God to work on us in this life, the more joyfully we will say, “I see Him. I'm like Him. He has made me like Him.”

Since that is such an important process and such an important fact, James, chapter 1, for example, tells us that when we endure testing (Endure is a word that means to stay under the testing.), we come forth as gold. We look more like Jesus Christ. Too many times as Christians we try to avoid the test or when we get under it, we try to squirm out from under it. Ask God to give you the grace to remain under the testing and to allow Him to make you more like Jesus Christ. We don't know what that is going to look like. We only have a dim perception of it, but when we see Him, we will see Him as He is, and we will be like Him because we have allowed God to work in our lives and make us like Him. Someday we will see that.

The result of that is in verse 3. He says:

I John 3:

3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Somebody says, “I can't purify myself. How can I do that?” You mothers understand this. Your little boy is playing out in the yard and you call him in to lunch or supper or whatever. He is all dirty and you say, “Johnny, go wash your hands and get ready to eat,” and like most boys he goes in and runs his hands under the water and drys them on his pants and comes back in and says, “I'm ready for supper, Mom.” You say, “Wait a minute. Let me look at your hands.” They are still almost as dirty as they were to begin with and you say, “Johnny, you didn't use soap, did you?” “Well, no, I didn't.” “Go back and wash your hands, and this time use soap.” He washes his hands and he comes back and says, “Look, Mom. I cleaned up my hands. I'm all clean and ready for supper.”

You commend him for that. “Good, Johnny. You cleaned yourself up.” He didn't clean himself up. The soap cleaned him up and that is the idea John has in mind here as he says, “Purify ourselves.” God has given us soap in the form of His Word, which tells us what he wants us to do—His standards, His principles—and God has given us the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses us from all sin and He has told us in I John, 1:9 that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As we move toward Heaven, toward that certainty that we will see Him, let's remain under the testing. Let's let Him do His chiseling. Let Him do His remaking. Keep ourselves by understanding the principles by which He wants us to live and by the blood of Jesus Christ, confessing our sins and having them forgiven—purify ourselves. Don't give up. Don't stop the work that God wants to do in you to make you like Jesus Christ because some day the promise of God is, “We will see Him as He is and we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”


There was a great saint of God back in the early part of this century by the name of Martha Snell Nicholson who was an invalid for thirty-five years. She wrote a lot of beautiful poetry about walking with the Lord. In that bed of pain, she became like Jesus Christ. I want to close with a poem that she wrote about standing in the presence of God someday and seeing Him as He is. She said, “When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ and He shows me His plans for me; the plan of my life as it might have been had He had His way, and I see how I blocked Him here and checked Him there and I would not yield my will, will there be grief in my Savior's eyes? Grief, but He loves me still. He would have me rich and I stand there poor, stripped of all but His grace while memory runs like a hunted thing down the path I cannot retrace. Then my desolate heart will well nigh break. With the tears I cannot shed, I shall cover my face with my empty hands. I shall bow my uncrowned head. For the years that are left to me I give them to Thy hand. Take me and break me and mold me to the pattern Thou hast planned.”

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