[i]Thomas Hauker, a bright, well-favored, good-looking young gentleman, would not deny his personal relationship with Christ. For this he was sentenced to die at the stake.[/i]
Days before his execution, Thomass friends came to his English prison cell. One said, Ive heard that God gives a special grace to those who die in the fire that enables them to bear the flames. For your sake, that I might be able to bear this cruelty to you, can you give us some sign of it? Without knowing this, I dont believe I can bear that day.
Thomas thought for a moment. If the rage of pain can be tolerated, before I die I will lift up my hands to heaven as an indication.
On the day of execution, the crowd was abuzz with Thomass promise. As he was chained to the stake, he spoke quietly and with great grace to the men who laid the wood. Then he closed his eyes and the fire was kindled.
Thomas continued to preach to those around him, but soon, for the roar of the flames, he could not. All were sure he had died. Suddenly, his hands rose above his head to his God and, with praise and thanksgiving, clapped together three times. A shout arose in the crowd, and Thomas sank into the fire and gave up his spirit.
[i]I cant take it anymore. How often we catch ourselves expressing frustration at the least little trial. A crying child. A stuck doorknob. A late-night project deadline. However, the story of the martyrs haunts our petty thoughts when we are tempted to give up under pressure. We often overstate our problems and underestimate our ability to bear up under them. In fact, God promises he will not allow anything into our lives that will be more than we can endure. Thomas, hands upraised in worship, signaling his triumph over the flames, is evidence enough. When you think you cant take much more of a certain situation, remember Thomas. And remember Gods faithfulness. He knows exactly what you can and cannot take.[/i]