Tonight at Gina’s worship night, a story was told. In an oppressed country where freedom of religion was/is non-existant, a man asked a woman in a crowd of people who the one true God was. And she answered Jesus Christ. The man threatened to behead her 5 year old child who stood next to her if she did not take back her answer. The woman looked at her child, and the child told her that it was ok, she would be with Jesus. The woman did not back down. So right in front of the woman, her child was beheaded. When all was said and done, the woman picked up her child’s lifeless body and prayed over it. When I heard this story, I went in the back room to the next worship station, and just sobbed at the mental picture of this woman losing the child that had been in her for 9 months, that she had nurtured, loved, and embraced for 5 years. And to picture the horror of seeing this precious child she had worked so hard to keep safe, killed in front of her, it was too much to fathom.
I love the Lord. But I cannot claim to be this strong. For I also love my children more than my life. And when I say I would lay down everything for the Lord, I know I am lying because I could not lay down my child’s life. Do whatever you want to me, but do not harm my children for my decisions and life. The Lord is supposed to come before everything, even your own children who were given to us by the Lord himself. And while I want to be so obedient to the Lord, I know I could not do this.
But what I can do is the little stuff. And in a lot of ways, I’m not even doing that. There are people out there dying for their religion. There are people who must practice their religion in total secrecy lest they be found out and murdered or imprisoned. There are missionaries being slaughtered, there are Christians being tortured, there are wars breaking out because of the fire religion places in the hearts of people. But me, on my comfortable side of the world, have times when I don’t speak of God because I make the decision that the other person doesn’t want to hear it. I pray to God everyday, but do not thank God for blessings aloud in mixed company. I listen to Christian music, but will turn it off or turn the station when I decide the other person doesn’t want to hear it. I have made the decision for other people to not be enlightened by my Lord. I have taken away their opportunity to hear something they need to hear. I have not asked them if they need prayers, or just tell them I’m praying for a difficult journey they are going through. I have taken away their rightful blessings, and kept my Jesus to myself.
Today my daughter and I were talking about religion. She didn’t know other religions existed besides Christianity and Judaism. But she is very in tune when her peers turn out to be Christian. She’ll mention that so and so mentioned God, and they were at school on the Jewish holiday, so they must be Christian. I told here that there are many different religions than Christianity where someone prays to God, but doesn’t celebrate Jewish holidays. And she asked about it, and I told her some religions off the top of my head. And we talked about how it’s sad that a lot of people don’t believe in Jesus, because the only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus, by believing in Him and following His ways. She asked me what that meant, to follow in his ways. I told her that meant to show people love, to let go of anger and show love even when someone is very mean to you. I told her to be a Christian didn’t just mean to believe, but to help those who were less fortunate than us and to share the word of God. And that by doing so, we aren’t doing something huge, we are doing what we are supposed to do as Christians. And somewhere in the conversation, Summer said in all earnestness that she wanted to share Jesus with everyone she knew, so that they could all go to Heaven too. Oh, to be a child in Christ!
So while I am disobedient in what I covet, as understanding as that is to those of this world, I, in all earnestness, want to share Jesus with everyone I know so that they can all go to Heaven too. Through my actions, through unashamed praise, through an “I’ll pray for you”, to a “do you know Jesus?”, I will share my Jesus with the world, unashamed, because I can in a country where the religion is free.