Roberts Liardon tells us that Knox’s wilderness experience in the galleys formed the leader we know him as today. It seemed he was a slave in a place of weakness, but the most tormenting time of his life produced an invincible strength within him. We may think thirty-three years old is a young and healthy age, but people in his day rarely lived past their fifties.
The fact was, he was running out of time, and, coupled with the reality that the group had no idea when they would be released from the galleys, this could have caused hopelessness or thoughts of defeat in his mind. But Knox wasn’t one to quit. Even when it seemed that Knox was going to die of a serious illness before walking free again, he looked through a porthole as they sailed past St. Andrew’s Castle and prophesied, I am fully persuaded that however weak I now appear, that I shall not depart this life till that my tongue shall glorify His godly name in that same place.
In the hardest and weakest times of our lives, if we keep our faith ignited the best we can and fix our eyes on heaven, God will build a place of strength, character, and understanding within us that will carry us into our destiny. Moses emerged from the desert as a leader.
Roberts Liardon tells us that Joseph came out of prison as a leader. Prisons and persecutions could not weaken the spirit within the apostle Paul. The spirit to never give up and to plow ahead, despite the circumstances around us, is another treasure that heaven honors. And Knox had it.
When Knox left the ship a free man, he was an invincible force that hell could not slow nor stop.