John Chrysostom, a church father in 400 AD, was brought before the Empress Eudoxia. She threatened him with banishment if he continued to preach, and their exchange was as follows:
John: “You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father’s house.”
Empress: “But I will kill you.”
John: “No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God.”
Empress: “I will take away your treasures.”
John: “No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.”
Empress: “But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left.”
John: “No, you cannot, for I have a Friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me.”
These days I’ve been feeling like I am losing things. However, I am realizing that in losing these things I am uncovering something better. And that something better is all the life, treasure, comfort, security, and peace hidden in Christ, which are eternal and imperishable.
It’ll take me awhile to understand this exchange and even believe that it is worth it and good. But I believe. (“I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24).
— The Lord gives and takes away. A sobering yet comforting truth. And even greater than that, He gave His Son and took away my sins, sorrows, and separation from my Father. In moments where I feel like I am losing things, remind me of what is already won.