Tuesday, July 4, 2006

When What You Hold Together is Crumbling

My copy of The Journal of John Wesley has some more information on his love life...and it's tragic news. Read this quotation:
Had Wesley married Grace Murray, he would have escaped the matrimonial disaster that overtook him when he married Mrs. Vazeille, wealthy widow of a London merchant. The most charitable construction that can be placed on her malicious, unreasonable behavior is that she was at times mentally unbalanced. She took papers and letters from his desk, changed the wording in his letters, then put them into the hands of his enemies or had them published in the newspapers. She is known to have driven a hundred miles in a jealous rage to see who was traveling with him. One of Wesley's preachers, John Hampson, said, after observing one of her tantrums, 'More than once she laid violent hands upon him, and tore those venerable locks...'
To be blunt, John Wesley had a horrible marriage. It's the truth. He lost his love, Grace Murray, to another man and Wesley replaced her with a living terror.

Folks, life ain't always easy. The Bible doesn't promise us such a comfortable life. We have to deal with problems--sometimes severe ones--and keep marching up the highway of holiness.

You would think that an apostle's life would have been glamorous, but think again! Listen to Paul's words on the subject:
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (1Cor 4.9-13 ESV)
Sometimes those closest to God are the ones who suffer the most.

It's easy to be awed at The Reverend John Wesley, M.A., preacher of the Great Awakening. However, we have to think of the man, John Wesley, who suffered at the hands of a "mentally unbalanced" wife. That brings him down to the rest of us, doesn't it? Saints don't walk on water; often saints do all they can to tread water.

The important thing is to keep on treading.