The Vicar of Christ, the man in the Seat of Peter, the Pope had made special allowances for an audience with Francis of Assisi. He was curious to examine this poor monk and to test his heart.
Walking some distance ahead of the retinue, the two passed by an endless succession of statues, fine art, ornaments, glass-works, frescoes and opulent construction.
The Pope turned to Francis at one point with a half-smile and said, “So, I guess that it can no longer be said of us that silver and gold have we none.” (Acts 3: 1-10)
“No, Your Eminence,” Francis replied,”neither can you say, in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk.”
God has established the principle that humility comes before spiritual power or leadership. Consider the passage from Hebrews 5:
8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Consider also Isaiah 57:
15For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
The person who has been shown his sin and limitation will waste no more time trusting in self, but will rush to the counsel and strength of the Lord. He has undergone suffering and stretching, and has acquired empathy for the difficulties of others, because he has gone down similar paths. Like David, he can rehearse a personal history of rescues from the lion and bear. His God has proved Himself able. The approaching Goliath will also fall down. The battle is the Lord’s. It has cost him to acquire this spiritual currency of holy audacity.
Such currency will work to the comfort and salvation of others.
2 Corinthians 1: 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
So my friends, when you come to “the knothole” or the dark tunnel and squeeze through, trusting in your loving Heavenly Father, you may expect enlarged opportunities. Be on the look-out for them. Take what you have to the streets, schools and work-places. Be a servant who knows his place, but who also recognizes the power delegated to him by the Master.