Sucking up Cares Like a Leech

I’ve heard my Dad reference this Martin Luther quote several times, and just saw it again in an article by my brother Eric on I Kings 19. I love the attitude of cheerful optimism amidst difficulty.

“I pray for you very earnestly, and I am deeply pained that you keep sucking up cares like a leech and thus rendering my prayers vain. Christ knows whether it comes from stupidity or the Spirit, but I for my part am not very much troubled about our cause. Indeed, I am more hopeful than I expected to be. God, who is able to raise the dead, is also able to uphold his cause when it is falling, or to raise it up again when it has fallen, or to move it forward when it is standing. If we are not worthy instruments to accomplish that purpose, he will find others. If we are not strengthened by his promises, where in all the world are people to whom these promises apply? But more of this another time. After all, my writing this is like pouring water into the sea” (Martin Luther to Philip Melanchthon, June 27, 1530, quoted in Theodore Tappert, ed., Luther: Letters of Spiritual Council [London: S.C.M., 1955], 147).

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