One particular creed - found on the body of a confederate soldier during the Civil War - has greatly encouraged me throughout the years.
I hope it encourages those who read it:
A Creed For Those Who Have Suffered
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for - but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!
- unknown Confederate soldier.
This verse also has filtered through my mind recently:
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith,
who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12: 2-3.
The part about "scorning its shame" always made me do a double take.
But the Message Bible talks about this verse and says Jesus
put up with anything - even the cross and shame - because
he never lost sight of what was ahead: "that exhilarating finish
in and with God."
May we never lose sight of our exhilarating finish!