So true. This is my translation of this.
Source: Un mister. Cu mâinile goale…
The thousands of covered kilometers, the books and brochures written, the licenses and the diplomas, the baptisms and the baptized people, the transcultural missions, the numbers in their church, the rapid growth of the church as well as of the other 3,4 in which they got involved, the built churches but as well as those demolished by the persecutors, the number of followers on social media, the number of views of their messages posted on youtube. Even the model family they got.
For sure, this is the way some of the servants (professionals, after Piper’s term) think in their heart,… they are great in God’s kingdom. Yes. Without doubt. They are special. They are distinct. Few have their accomplishments. Few walked this path. Their hands are full. Their baskets as well. Their cup overflows. There must be a special calling, a somewhat hidden, somewhat unique grace.
They don’t say it out loud, but they are careful to offer you these insights and to suggest them in thousands of ways at meetings and congresses. The proper place where even Christ seems to vanish, being eclipsed by the “spiritual empire” these people built, in His Name. And if by any chance you are innocent, and young, without any of this “experience”, you are an excellent target.
I don’t generalize. They are really great workers. At their shadow you won’t wither. But great people understand that theirs is no thing they didn’t received. They understand grace. And they, these great people, humble. They humble because their eyes are directed to the true prize. The one coming from His hand. In that day. These ones despise the repayment they might get from people, because by receiving it, they understand that that precious, hidden treasure, can be stolen by thieves.
And isn’t it so? Isn’t it evident? He knows their acts, their diligence, their patience.
But the others will give even a glass of water to a thirsty one in slow motion, to be well observed by all those who count, being careful to introduce it in their next sermon.
In The Hiding Place, the biography of a great woman, Corrie ten Boom, it is mentioned a very sensible moment. Tante Jens, Corrie’s aunt, a very active, involved woman, serving in various ways, is coming to know her life is about to come to an end.
The whole family was gathered around her, and her brother in law, Corrie’s father, starts this difficult discussion with her. I present the whole fragment:
“My dear sister,” my father started soft-hearted, “this is a joyful journey every Child of God is called to make, sooner or later. And, Jans, some have to go to their Father with empty hands, but you will run there with full hands!”
“All your clubs…,” dared to say Tante Anna.
“Your writings…,” added mother.
“All the funds you raised…,” said Betsie.
“Your speeches…,” I started.
But all our well-meant words were needless. Before our eyes, the proud face wilted; Tante Jans covered her eyes with her hands and started to weep. “Empty, empty!” she finally choked with her own tears. “How could we ever bring something to God? Does He care of our small juggles and trifles?”
And then, as we listened without really believing what we heard, she lowered her hands and while her tears kept running, she whispered, “Lord Jesus, I thank you because we were meant to come with empty hands. I thank you for you did everything – everything – at the Cross, and that all we need in life or death is to have this assurance.”
My mother embraced her with her arms and they hugged. But I stayed there, speechless, knowing I just witnessed a mystery.*
Indeed, who might say he will come before him in that day with full hands. Being assured his spike bears grain. That he is not a mere straw. No. Our only assurance is Jesus. His Cross. In life or death.
As for the rest, we all will stand with empty hands before Him. But He, in His grace, will fill them up.
*translated pasage from The Hiding Place, The best – selling, inspirational true story of Corrie ten Boom.