by Nan Jones

I slipped Blue’s harness over his broad shoulders and hooked his leash. Finally, after a soaking rain, the sun shone through the crisp blue of an August sky. We rounded the curve near the meadow. My spirit stirred and I began to sing The Old Rugged Cross – a hymn that has carried me through many storms.

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame…

A breeze tousled the canopy of leaves overhead. I raised my face toward heaven, closed my eyes and pictured Jesus on the cross. I thought of what His great sacrifice meant to me – how His love allowed me to walk hand in hand with the Creator of the Universe, how my mind can be stayed in peace when I think of Him. I thought of the joy He brings in the midst of immense sorrow, and I cherished the hope He offers in the midst of devastating despair.

And I love that old cross, where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Movement to my right caught my attention. A swallowtail fluttered above the amethyst fluff of a thistle. I watched the butterfly settle upon the sweet source of nectar and, for the first time, realized that its buttery wings were bordered with the colors of stained glass. 

Stained glass. 

Like a church window.

I’ve disciplined myself to be alert to God moments – ever watching for Him, ever listening for His quiet voice.

I quickly realized this was such a moment.

Spiked leaves and thorns protruded in a circular fashion beneath the purple blossom sitting regally above the thorny crown, its long stem thrusting it towards the heavens. I watched as the swallowtail drank deeply of the nectar, unperturbed that Blue and I were only inches away. After its long drink, the butterfly rested without fear. Content. At one with its Creator.

The buttery wings with borders of stained glass reflected the Savior’s love to me. As if looking through a glass, I caught a glimpse of Him passing by.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
Til my trophies at last I lay down
And I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown. 

Jesus bids us to come and drink of His Living Water, to rest peacefully – unafraid in the presence of our enemies. Won’t you come?

you tired? Worn out? 
Burned out on religion? Come to me. 
Get away with
me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 
 Walk with me and work with me— 
watch how I do it. 
Learn the unforced
rhythms of grace. 
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep
company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 
~ Matthew 11:28-30, MSG
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Are you a pastor’s wife or a leader in ministry? Or perhaps life has been hard and, even though you don’t work for the Kingdom of God beneath a title, you still know the battles that ensue when you make a stand for righteousness. My book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife, will lead you on a journey of healing from the wounds occurred when you step out in faith to live a life pleasing to God.
What others are saying:
This book is not for just pastor’s wives. It can
be for any woman, or even man, who has ever felt the hurt and pain of
betrayal and rejection, anyone who has ever been shoved out of his
position, or calling, before he was ready, anyone who has ever let down
his guard to trust only to find pain, hurt, rejection, loss, and
betrayal instead. The book is an emotional read. I cried all the way
through it, but tears of joy from knowing you are not alone and that a
pastor’s wife can so readily describe the common feelings so many
endure.” ~ B.J. Robinson
You may purchase The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife on Amazon