“I pray for them…” — John 17:9a
I was thinking today about what it feels like to be safe. I had one of those moments where you realize you had forgotten what something feels like….I don’t know if anyone would understand what I am trying to say but it’s a very odd, almost shameful feeling. As if I had somehow lost hold of an ounce of humility and it scared me. I was just going along, minding my business when I remembered what it felt like to feel unsafe and in danger and it really bothered me. Not the memory but the fact that I take feeling at peace and feeling safe in Christ for granted and it shamed me.
I remember being a teenager and having asthma attacks that were pretty bad. I often ended up in the emergency room for breathing treatments. I remember praying and wishing that I would be sick enough to have to stay and not be sent back home. I had forgotten all about this and it used to embarrass me greatly. I had no idea what it was like to feel cared for or comforted or safe. . I remember apologizing to Nurses for being sick and feeling strange and guilty for being there and receiving medical attention. They had nice clean sheets and hot meals and they cared. Sometimes it seemed like the safest place on earth in my little world and I was so grateful.
It’s so easy to take for granted not ever feeling like this now and I don’t want to let go of this memory. I cannot imagine ever going back there but yet I want to remember more often, and I want it to hurt so I never, ever forget to be thankful. I have so much emotion swirling around in my heart and in my head and I don’t quite know how to put it into words. I found this piece by J.C. Ryle and it explains what I am trying to say and come to terms with.
Christ prays for us, and we are indeed His own. Ever the comforter, ever the rock we stand on and cling to. He makes our salvation sure and I am comforted in that and so many more of his promises that I don’t deserve. I have found safety and I never ever want to take Christ for granted.
This special intercession of the Lord Jesus is one grand secret of the believer’s safety. He is daily watched, and thought for, and provided for with unfailing care, by One whose eye never slumbers and never sleeps. Jesus is “able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him, because He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25.) They never perish, because He never ceases to pray for them, and His prayer must prevail. They stand and persevere to the end, not because of their own strength and goodness, but because Jesus intercedes for them. Judas fell never to rise again; while Peter fell, but repented, and was restored. The reason of the difference lay under those words of Christ to Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not.” (Luke 22:32.)
The true servant of Christ ought to lean back his soul on the truth before us, and take comfort in it. It is one of the peculiar privileges and treasures of a believer, and ought to be well known. However much it may be wrested and abused by false professors and hypocrites, it is one which those who really feel in themselves the workings of the Spirit should hold firmly and never let go. Well says the judicious Hooker–”No man’s condition so safe as ours–the prayer of Christ is more than sufficient both to strengthen us, be we ever so weak; and to overthrow all adversary power, be it ever so strong and potent.”