Daily Reformation, Psalm 9:9-20
About the Reformer
Calvin’s bodily presence, like that of St. Paul, was weak. His earthly tent scarcely covered his mighty spirit. He was of middle stature, dark complexion, thin, pale, emaciated, and in feeble health; but he had a finely chiseled face, a well-formed mouth, pointed beard, black hair, a prominent nose, a lofty forehead, and flaming eyes which kept their lustre to the last. He seemed to be all bone and nerve. He looked in death, Beza says, like one who was asleep. A commanding intellect and will shone through the frail body. There are several portraits of him; the best is the oil painting in the University Library of Geneva, which presents him in academic dress and in the attitude of teaching, with the mouth open, one hand laid upon the Bible, the other raised.
He calls himself timid and pusillanimous by nature; but his courage rose with danger, and his strength was perfected in weakness. He belonged to that class of persons who dread danger from a distance, but are fearless in its presence. In his conflict with the Libertines he did not yield an inch, and more than once exposed his life.
—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church
Pulling It Together
It is not the body that makes the difference. A stronger person dwells within your frame if the Holy Spirit empowers your own spirit. This is why you must allow yourself the freedom to act outside yourself. Let out the inner person, for you are strengthened by God. You are stronger than you think.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers