REACHING THE PINNACLE
S. J. Walter Sunder Singh
Life is a journey with a beginning and an end. For all of us, journey starts in our mother’s womb and ends in a tomb. In between the womb and the tomb, each one of us undergoes both positive and negative changes. Yes, life is full of ups and downs!
A careful study of the word of God reveals that our life on this earth is not a bed of roses but a thorn-strewn thoroughfare. While the majority of us complain and grumble about this ‘sad state’, some brave-hearts carefully walk through the thorns and come out victoriously.
In the Bible we come across several such heroes. The lesson that we glean through their earthly sojourn is that they all groaned before they were glorified.
Suffering Before Success
Moses was a mammoth leader who led millions from Egyptian slavery. Jehovah chose him as His instrument to unshackle the chains of His people who felt nauseated in the land of the Niles. God met this reluctant shepherd near a thorny bush that was burning and yet not consumed! And there began the road to unbelievable success and salvation.
Struggles and sufferings are painful stepping-stones to true success. Though Moses spent his first forty years in Egyptian regalia, his next forty years were spent in the nondescript regions of Midian as a vagrant. A man who was trained in every martial art of Egypt became the shepherd of Jethro.
But that strange and awesome encounter with God at the burning bush was the beginning of success for Moses. True, he had to face rebellion, ridicule and rough life ahead; but the Lord took him through all these unfavourable situations and he became a lethal weapon in the hands of the great Liberator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
Serve To Lead
“Who is a leader?” asked the Sunday school teacher in her class. All the children answered in unison, “The King.” The Bible has the best definition of a leader, “A leader is the servant of others.”
In our country, we have leaders who exploit others and amass wealth for themselves and for their posterity. They care little about the misery of the common man. But the kind of leadership that Jesus postulated was the one of servanthood. Humility, hardship and honest labour are the hallmarks of a servant leader. The Bible lucidly and loudly declares that a Christian leader is a servant in his heart.
Joseph was a handsome young man who rose to become the Prime Minister in the land of Egypt (Gen.41:41-43). He became a timely saviour for his troubled family. But what was his path to success? From the pit to the prison, and from the prison walls to the portals of a grand palace! Men were not able to thwart the plan of God for Joseph.
Have the mind and attitude of a servant. Fear God in all that you do. Never invent shortcuts to prominence; and the God who sees in the secret will reward you before haughty men!
Cross Before Crown
Jesus Christ was born in human history. His was a brief life, yet it was full of briers, thorns and troubles. He was misunderstood by His own people. The religious leaders of His day found fault in each of His actions. Even His own disciples desired popularity and power. Those twelve men failed miserably in comprehending their Master’s true mission. In a couple of instances, His opponents tried to stone Him. He was accused for healing people on the Sabbath. And He was ridiculed for dining with the sick and the sinners. The Lord experienced agony and faced countless disappointments.
But the story doesn’t end there. Days after His crucifixion and resurrection, His cold disciples became firebrand crusaders who turned the world upside down. With divine power they invaded the territories occupied by Satan and brought about emancipation and salvation to countless people. The disciple Thomas came to India and lit the light of enduring hope in the picturesque beaches of Kerala.
Now the church is a worldwide entity, growing by leaps and bounds in every corner of this vast globe.
Yes, crucifixion paved the way for coronation. Pain and agony turned to gain and ecstasy. Our world is being filled with saved souls who were once under the cruel custody of Satan. As we draw closer to that great moment of the second coming of Jesus Christ, let us rededicate our lives to a journey of patience, prudence and prayer. The victory that Jesus won by bearing the cross has opened to us Heaven’s golden gates! Come, Lord Jesus! Maranatha!