A Little Perspective

Our family of seven is in temporary housing (until the end of the month)and we’re desperately looking for a permanent dwelling. I use the word ‘desperate’ because at the end of the day(s), that is the exact feeling that this timetable has conjured up within me. It’s almost as if a casual stroll in the park suddenly turned into a desperate race. The calendar began chasing me down and I responded in a frenzied fashion, failing to notice that God has his eye on the clock. While house-hunting, driving around town… something happened. David (my husband) and I were talking about our upcoming services for Sunday. The highlighted passage is John 15, where Jesus basically debriefs his followers about the persecution that will take place. Well, who likes that topic? I’m guessing that fear was screaming thoughts into the minds of the listeners as he was speaking. Avoiding persecution and uncomfortable situations seems almost second nature, an innate ability that we all possess. We’re pretty good at defending ourselves. Yet, there it is in black and white…those that follow Christ will suffer. Instead of a pep-talk on “how to defend yourself”, Jesus gives a command to love each other and tells them about the gift of the Comforter. How do I process that???
In preparation for Sunday, we were able to get some literature from Voice of Martyrs (a ministry that focuses on the persecuted church around the world). I flipped open the VOM magazine and started reading…7 years imprisonment for sharing the gospel, young husband/father martyred by Muslims for sharing his faith, widowed mother of two still rejoicing, even in her pain, that the gospel was shared. My “house-hunting” dilemma suddenly seemed quite trivial. I was face to face with my immature reaction to my situation. No, I don’t have the house question answered. We are still waiting. Thankfully, I am not waiting on word from the authorities to know if my husband is still alive…I am free to share the good news of life with Christ and not be afraid…I am blessed beyond measure, am I not? I guess all in all, I gained a little perspective. I really want to hang onto this. Jesus commanded us to love one another in John 15:17. Am I looking for ways to love? Or am I too preoccupied with myself? The persecuted get to experience the Comforter (vs 26), and bear witness that they are one of His disciples (vs 27). This amazing display of Christ-likeness is exactly what I read in the words from the Christians that are in the “thick of it” around the world. Their responses were embedded with courage, thankfulness, trust, selflessness. My sentiments are with Sara Groves (“I Saw What I Saw”) as she sings “your pain has changed me, your dream inspired, your face a memory, your hope a fire, your courage asks me what I am made of, what I’m afraid of and what I know of love, what I know of God? WOW! How have I reacted to my little persecutions? I am still dealing with my petty inconveniences…like house hunting (which in reality is a blessing). I desire to escape the stagnant world of selfishness and gain Gods fresh perspective of a life of selflessness. I needed this rest stop to gain a little perspective on what’s really important (ie..my house and my comforts are NOT the center of the universe). I hope you’re encouraged to take a deep breath with me…to stop and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. They pray for us. They know our lives of ease can be a breeding ground for shallowness. Blessings until next time…

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