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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Even Adults Need Role Models

“O God, Early in the morning do I cry unto thee.  Help me to pray, and to think only of thee.  I cannot pray alone.  In me there is darkness, but with thee there is light.  I am lonely, but thou leavest me not.  I am feeble in heart, but thou leavest me not.  I am restless, but with thee there is peace.  In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is patience; Thy ways are past understand, but Thou knowest the way for me.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A prayer while he was incarcerated in Tegal Military Prison: Germany,
Christmas 1943.  

“….[N]or do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”  2 Chron. 20:12b.  

Bonhoeffer was an outspoken voice against Hitler, a light in a dark world.  Early on he realized his actions could lead not only to his own death but to that of his family’s.  Despite the risk he remained faithful to his Christian beliefs and to his calling.  He was God’s mouth piece while living and in death remains an example of living a life devoted to self sacrifice.  His words and actions are an inspiration for us all in times of struggle.  

He did not know he would die, but he had a strong inclination that his life would end at the hands of Hitler.  Knowing this, he could have ran, he could have turned aside, remained silent or looked the other way.  Often we think people like him had extraordinary faith in the face adversity, but we fail to remember that these heroes were human.  They struggled along the way; they had doubts and fear the same as we do. 

Just because Bonhoeffer had accepted his destiny, that it could end in death, does not mean he did not feel scared, frustrated, alone or sad…it means he knew something bigger than him was taking place.  He gladly transferred his lack of knowledge to the author and finisher of his faith.  He placed his trust in God and kept his eyes there instead of on the craziness of the world around him.  True courage is not the lack of fear, that is stupidity, courage is going forward despite fear.  

To assist us today in standing in this world it helps to have a role model like Bonhoeffer to look to.  Christians need to find someone to have as an inspiration and role model for how to live a life that exemplifies Christ no matter the cost to help them stand strong in the face of adversity.  While we may never be called to give our lives for Christ, we are all called to let our lights shine.  

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matt 5:16

Bonhoeffer was hung for acts of Treason against Hitler’s Germany April 9, 1945.  Hitler committed suicide April 30, 1945.  

There are many books written about Bonhoeffer (Bonhoeffer himself wrote Christian books and devotionals that are inspirational) the book about the life of Bonhoeffer I recommend reading is:

Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy    by Eric Metaxas 

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