John Paton of Dumfriesshire was an early missionary to the South Pacific. Before his departure from Scotland, one elderly man tried to dissuade him from going, warning that he would be eaten by cannibals. Paton’s reply?
Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honouring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Thank you, Brother Jon, for this reminder.
The immediate prospect may be fair or dismal, but the eternal is glorious!
Amen. I found Paton’s reply both challenging and greatly encouraging.