“And it came to pass, that, as He (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father …”
Luke 11:1, 2
If I call someone “Father” that means I am the child, and in the Bible God tells children how they are to be towards their parents. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” and the Lord says through Paul, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
Jesus tells us, through His child Ellen White, “But if you call God your Father you acknowledge yourselves His children, to be guided by His wisdom and to be obedient in all things, knowing that His love is changeless. You will accept His plan for your life. As children of God, you will hold His honor, His character, His family, His work, as the objects of your highest interest. It will be your joy to recognize and honor your relation to your Father and to every member of His family. You will rejoice to do any act, however humble, that will tend to His glory or to the well-being of your kindred.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 105, 106.
Margaret lived in Scotland in the sixteenth century when Covenanters, followers of Christ through His servant John Knox, were thrown into prison, and many were martyred for their faith. Margaret was a Covenanter who ended up in jail for nothing more than belief in the Scriptures.
There she became friends with Mrs. Lauchlison, a fellow Covenanter who insisted on obeying Scripture rather than the king’s religion. The two encouraged one another in their cell, quoting Bible verses and praying for strength to endure to the end.
The day came when soldiers tied the hands of Mrs. Lauchlison and led her away to her execution. “Let me go too!” Margaret begged. Guarded by soldiers, she walked beside her friend to the beach where a wooden stake already stood at the water’s edge. Margaret watched as they bound her friend to the wooden pole. She stared as the tide came in, slowly raising the water level about the woman tied to the stake. Each wave brought the water higher about her body.
“What has the old woman done?” someone cried out of the crowd.
“She was found on her knees in prayer,” a guard answered.
As Margaret kept staring at her friend, the old woman’s wrinkled face seemed aglow with heavenly light. Margaret strained to catch her words above the crash of the waves. “I have promised to obey Thee, heavenly Father. Help me now when I am tested.”
The faint strains of a hymn sounded above the pounding waves. Margaret watched as they washed over the old woman’s head. “Lord, help me to be as faithful to Your word,” she breathed a silent prayer of commitment.
The next day Margaret was the one tied to the stake. As the tide came in, she recited Romans 8:31–39: “If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can divide us from the love of Christ? … For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Margaret and her friend Mrs. Lauchlison both honored their Father in heaven. To do anything different than they did would have been to dishonor, disobey and deny Him. Though their obedience to their heavenly Father cost them their lives on this earth, they are simply sleeping in their temporary beds until the great waking up morning, when their Saviour and Lord will awaken them to the joys of eternal life.
Pray that each one of us will make the same commitment to our heavenly Father that Margaret and Mrs. Lauchlison made, to be faithful no matter the cost. Then we also, on that great waking up morning when Jesus returns, will be with our Father and His only begotten Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, for eternity.