About 15 years ago, I borrowed an electric hedge trimmer.  In an unfortunate twist-and-turn maneuver through which I was trying to avoid cutting the power cord, I ended up “trimming” my index finger.  The rather deep cut, made by the same sharp edges that had been trimming shrubs, was dirty, and I used a lot of hydrogen peroxide to try to clean that cut during the next day or two.  It probably should have been looked at by a doctor.  I never got around to it. . . .

I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them.  – Hebrews 11, CEB

15 years ago, my finger had almost been sawed in two, but the rest of me has never been close to that.  I’ve rarely felt persecuted at all.  I can really only describe one occasion that I was mistreated for anything that had anything to do with faith.  When it comes right down to it, I’ve had it easy.

Simply put, my present sufferings do not amount to being sawed, or fed to huge, famished felines.


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