Quite some time ago I read an article in Christian History magazine about Harold John Ockenga. Ockenga was a great influence on Billy Graham. The article said that when Rev. Ockenga was on his death bed many of his confidants were around him giving him encouragement concerning his life of ministry. He did not respond (he was barely conscious) to the offerings of encouragement and the compliments concerning his life's work. Here is an excerpt from the article telling about what words DID cause Ockenga to respond.
"Although Ockenga was too weak to respond, none of the comments seemed to be bringing him the peace and comfort the elders hoped they might be able to convey. Then one of the elders leaned forward and quietly commented, "Well, Harold, I suggest that when you see the Master, just say, 'God be merciful to me a sinner.'" Tears began to flow down Ockenga's cheeks."
Here's the link to the article in Christian History.
Why do we struggle so as we try to determine our own significance? We are all sinners. Our Jesus understands our "sheep-ness" and has great mercy upon us. I am so moved by the truth told in Ockenga's response. After all his serving and working for the Lord, as he struggles with the end of his life, weak and tired, he knows the truth. He needs the mercy of the Grace Giver.
Jesus said we should become like children, small and helpless, sure that we are in great need of the Savior. Blessed are the poor in spirit.
I'm joining Floss and her friends for A Pause in Lent. Pop over and treat yourself to some challenging thoughts, if you'd like.
Thank you so much for peeking in on me today.