Patricia Hofer

Christ’s “larger, stronger, quieter life”

“Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (NRSV Rom. 7:24-25)
No matter how much we humans think we have overcome some indulgent habit or addiction or moral failing, it usually doesn’t take much for us to fall back into it. This vacillation can be particularly unsettling for Christians. We are always so quick to claim victory—something church practice even encourages. … What should we do when our victory over immorality or addiction or illness falls from the victory of “Yes” back into the defeat of “No”? Is there anything we can do?… C. S. Lewis wrote that this surrender has to begin each morning, when our “wishes and hopes for the day rush” at us “like wild animals.” He continued: “… the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in” (Mere Christianity 154). How comforting and helpful these words have been for me! I think of them every day. When spiritual healing has occurred in my life, in physical and moral ways, the change took place as I yielded, as I let Christ’s “larger, stronger, quieter life” win the day, the hour, and the moment. What a blessing that is! (from Living Strong, chapter 32. ©️2014)

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