“He who rides to be crowned
will not think much
of a rainy day. “
Can’t you just picture it? Horse and rider are soaked to the bone; cold, muddy, and you would think, feeling downright miserable. But for this traveler, the stormy day is nothing more than a side-note — he’s riding to receive his crown! With destination and reward clearly in focus, somehow his blurry view takes on a whole new perspective. Everything happening in the moment – things he can touch and feel and see aren’t what fill his thoughts. Rather, he knows the reason for the journey far outweighs the hardships all around him. Although his furrowed brow, rain soaked face, and squinting eyes betray the testing, he leans forward on his galloping horse, looking past the immediacy of the falling drops.
With an ever-so-faint smile
he rides on as the warm glow
of both hearth and crowning
play out in his mind.
Life’s rainy days can warp perspective causing us to take a very myopic view of hardship. Sometimes what I need most is to keep the long view in mind. Don’t you love how Trapp used a word picture to bring 2 Corinthians 4:17 into vivid relief? “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
What’s a little rain when there’s a crown to be gained?
Here are a few more quotes to sow this truth in our minds and let it take root in our hearts:
“There is required patience on our part till the summer fruit in heaven be ripe for us: it is in the bud, but there be many things to do before our harvest come. And we take ill with it, and can hardly endure to set our paper face to the storm, and to go to heaven with wet feet, and pain, and sorrow. We love to carry heaven to heaven, and would have two summers in one year; but this will not be for us — The Man Christ got but only one, and shall we have two?” (“The Loveliness of Christ” by Samuel Rutherford)
“When we see as we have been seen
and look back on the journey of life,
we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart.
We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross,
and thought so little of our crown.
Let us take courage; we are not far from home.”
(“Holiness” by JC Ryle)
And from William Romaine – “He would have them be accustomed to the cross, it being the only way to the crown. There is nothing new or strange in it. All the crowned heads in heaven carried it while they were upon the earth, yea, even the King,”
My hope for us — a deluge of grace to equal the rain; a steady gaze that never loses sight of the reward; and perhaps, though maybe not right now but in time, even a smile too.