I've written about this before, but I enjoyed an interesting reminder last night as I was reading through Hebrews. I'd reached the "Faith Chapter", amazing story after story of amazing things that happened simply by faith. Those verses make me look at my life and grumble that I'm not doing big enough things for God.
But then Paul carries on to say that he doesn't have enough time to tell all the stories of those who through faith subdued kingdoms, quenched the violence of fire, became valiant in battle. Then in the very next sentences: "And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance...." "trial of mockings and scourgings..." "they were stoned, they were sawn in two", "wandered about destitute, afflicted, tormented"
It certainly puts simple things like grief into perspective.
It's easy to sit here, in my warm home, automatic dryer drying my clothes while I type out my thoughts, and wonder if God would ever call me to something so noble as what those martyrs went through. And while, in my time, it's easy for me to say that I'd face a gunman and easily declare my faith - the idea of "sawn in two"... it honestly makes me wonder if I'd be strong enough. I'd like to hope, but I cannot even begin to imagine that kind of suffering - or that kind of cruelty.
But it also reminded me of something I'd read somewhere else. In a book the girl declares she'd walk through fire for the boy she loved - but then she amended, that less dramatically, she'd be willing to slosh through the rain and cold every day for him. It was a simple reminder I suppose.
God isn't calling me to be sawn in two just yet, but He is calling me today to live for Him.
I wonder, truly, which is harder?