Eric was having to make an important decision; of course, no one was going to force him to speak or to have a public ministry. But I’m sure that Eric was counting the cost. Some people may say no big deal, but this was a huge deal. Especially for such an introvert.
This decision was going to affect the rest of his life. Was he going to be a closet Christian or a committed one?
Boy, did this post hit home for me! Not that I am Eric Liddell or will run in an Olympics – I am really slow so that is out of the question. But I think every Christian has the moment in their life when they are faced with the decision.
Am I going to live my Christian life loudly or keep it to myself? Do I stand up and proclaim the name of Jesus openly so that everyone around me knows or play it safe?
How I answer defines much of my growth as a Christian.
I remember my first such moment. It was with a family member who asked with derision whether I was one of them born again Christians. Unlike Eric Liddell, I felt the cost was too high to answer truthfully I was and chose to avoid the question and change the subject.
The next time it was some co-workers who were mocking those of faith. Unlike Eric Liddell, I saw my workplace friendship as more important and chose to say nothing again. The decision tore me up inside for the next few weeks. I felt like a total failure and that God could not possibly use me anymore.
Thankfully, God is just not like that. He loves His little sheep even when we go astray. He doesn’t leave us when we fail and doesn’t leave us IN our failure either.
So God kept sending moments of truth one after another to me allow me to find myself in Christ. A Christian cannot hide their light under a basket and be healthy in Jesus. We just cannot grow in our identity as a Christian if we do.
He also kept loving me, teaching me and preparing me for the next time so that I could be ready to succeed if I was willing.
He gave me comfort when I failed and the power to succeed. He is that sort of Savior!
Though the article does not say it, I am sure Eric Liddell had these moments too before he stepped out completely and successfully in faith. Like Peter and the rest of us, I am sure he had to fall down a few times as he learned to walk in his identity in Christ. He was just a sheep like us – though a very fast one.
It is only the Shepherd who was perfect.