This morning I was indulging in the pleasure of a very good book. The house was quiet, the girls all still asleep. Unlike a lot of families, we let our kids stay up as late as we do. (Ah, the joys of homeschooling!) I relish quiet in the morning, as they don't wake up so early. It also gives them more time with Daddy...
Anyway, the book I am re-reading is by George MacDonald, actually re-edited by Dan Hamilton, called "The Seaboard Parish". (Read "A Quiet Neighborhood" first.) I can't help but share a bit of it, it struck such a chord in my heart!
In Chapter 14 - A Sermon for Sailors ... "There is nothing that kills faith sooner than pride. The two are directly against each other."
(In Chapter 15, talking about Peter)...
"I have sometimes wondered whether his denial of our Lord had anything to do with his satisfaction with himself for making that onslaught upon the high priest's servant. It was a brave and faithful act to draw a single sword against a multitude. Peter had justified his confident saying that he would not deny Him. He was not one to deny his Lord - who had been the first to confess Him! Yet ere the cock had crowed, ere the morning had dawned, the vulgar grandeur of the palace of the high priest and the accusation of a maid-servant were enough to make him quail. He was excited before, and now he was cold in the middle of the night, with Jesus gone from his sight a prisoner.
"Alas, that the courage which had led him to follow the Lord should have thus led him but into the denial of Him! Yet, why should I say alas? If the denial of our Lord lay in his heart a possible thing, only prevented by his being kept in favorable circumstances for confessing Him, it was a thousand times better that he should deny Him, and thus know what a poor weak thing that heart of his was, trust it no more, and give it up to the Master to make it strong and pure and grand. For such an end, the Lord was willing to bear all the pain of Peter's denial."
Here I ceased and, a little overcome, rose and retired to my own room. There I could only fall on my knees and pray that the Lord Christ, who had died for me, might have His own way with me - that it might be worth His while to have done what He did and what He was doing now for me. To my Elder Brother, my Lord and my God, I gave myself yet again,confidently, because He cared to have me and because my very breath was His. I would be what He wanted, who knew all about it and had done everything that I might be a son of God - a living glory of gladness."
I echo this prayer, today and always!
(I am a second hand book shopper and always buy any George MacDonald books when I see them. I have multiple copies of some of them, for giving away. Let me know if there is one you are looking for and I would be happy to share if I have it. The ones I have are the ones edited by Michael Phillips.)