|“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2).
John Newton, Anglican Pastor from the 1700s who gave us “Amazing Grace”, had a favorite image in the Bible. It was the unconsumed burning bush which Moses saw and from the bush heard the voice of God. To Newton, the bush was a metaphor for Christians who undergo severe suffering.
He wrote, “Some Christians are called to endure a disproportionate amount of suffering. Such Christians are a spectacle of grace to the church, like flaming bushes unconsumed, and cause us to ask, like Moses, ‘Why is this bush not burned?’ The strength and stability of these believers can be explained only by the miracle of God’s sustaining grace.”
There are stalwart saints, like John Newton, William Law, Bishop J.C. Ryle, Elisabeth Elliot, Joni Eareckson Tada, Stephen Davey, and more who have battled but not burned. Their tough take on suffering has helped deepen my walk with Christ and given me something rich to pass on to others. A spectacle of grace for others to see Jesus in us!