The preachers were beaten, threatened, and abused, and yet the people received their doctrine, invited, no doubt, thereto by their wonderful patience and cheerfulness under their trials, which convinced men that they were borne up and carried on by a better spirit than their own.
– Matthew Henry on Acts 6:1-7
Studying ahead for this week’s sermon, I came across the above quote from Matthew Henry’s Commentary. Cut to the heart. My affliction is no where near the preachers of the early church or the persecuted church today. My affliction is really no where near deserving the term, affliction. I’m just in my third trimester of pregnancy, just your run-of-the-mill curse for women. I’m tired, a bit moody, a lot clumsy, and I throw-up in my mouth a little every time I bend over.
Chris and I want to be fruitful and multiply disciples of Christ, starting in our own home. I know I need to wait absent of complaint, but cheerfulness? My heart twists a little. My own spirit can parade a head down, clenched jaw, determination to wait it out; but genuine patience, a cheerful demeanor that will convince anyone that I’m carried on by a better spirit cannot be fabricated, least of all to my children.
So how do I grow a human for 10 more weeks like a Christian? I need to unclench my jaw and look up like Stephen. The only way to die to myself with a face like an angel, is to behold the one who carries me to glory. Then will the Lord use me to invite my children to be his disciples, then I will view affliction with purpose, then I will be able to rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances with a truly happy heart.