But I wanted to end this year by reflecting on a small book I've been reading. John Bunyan, best known for The Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote a great deal on prayer. I've been slowly reading his The Throne of Grace, first published in 1692. Bunyan spends 100 pages on one verse of Scripture:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
The other night I was reading how he distinguished the “throne of grace” from other thrones. What he said was so encouraging. Here's a quote (my emphasis).
It is with the throne of grace, as it is with the waters of Bath, and other sovereign and healing waters; they are most coveted by them that are diseased…So, I say, is the throne of grace; its waters are for healing, for soul-healing; that is their virtue (Ezek. 47.8,9). Wherefore, as at Nature’s waters, the lame leave their crutches, and the sick such other tokens of their recovery as may be a sign of their receiving health and cure there, so at the throne of grace, true penitents, and those that are sick for mercy, do leave their sighs and tears…(pp. 89-90)
If you find your soul…
- Stained by sin, the throne of grace is soul-cleansing.
- Ragged with the sickness of this broken world, the throne of grace is soul-healing.
- Struggling with weariness, the throne of grace is soul-refreshing and -renewing.
- Parched and dry, the throne of grace is soul-satisfying.