Something struck me as I read and listened to the prayers of believers suffering in Afghanistan. There is an other-worldly peace, confidence, humility, and longing for those around the world to see that the God they serve is worthy of their all – even at the cost of everything. Contrast that with much of the Western world, which is still relatively comfortable in its freedoms. Often, there is a lack of teachability and the humility to listen.
Knowledge is often valued over wisdom. Loudness often replaces discernment and slowness to speak. Popularity often replaces integrity. The desire to be known often replaces everyday faithfulness. And God is often pursued for the blessings he might give rather than to know him more, whatever the cost.
As much as we should pray for, weep with, and grieve over the atrocities happening to our brothers and sisters all over the world – in some ways we are most to be pitied. Because persecution and suffering aren’t the greatest threat to a believer – self-sufficiency is.
Are we ready to stand firm in the face of persecution when it comes? Are we ready to give up everything for the sake of following Christ?
Because when push comes to shove – our loud opinions, desire to be right, need to be praised and loved, and confidence in worldly comforts, will show themselves to be the weak facades of strength that they really are. Of course we don’t want pain, suffering, or loss to touch our lives, but in the realm of eternity, it is far worse to be blinded by comfort and self-sufficiency.
May the Lord allow what he must to make us ready – living, acting, and speaking in a way that stems from the core belief that knowing and following Christ is of greater gain than anything else this world may give.
A longing, an ache
For the world to be made right
When longing and strivings cease
And dawn breaks through the night.
A yearning, a hope
For broken things made whole
When healing is complete
Restoring body, mind, and soul.
A restlessness, a peace
In the life I’m called to live
Torn between two worlds
Until the final breath he gives.
A sorrow, a joy
For wounds that still remain
Tasting the bitter cup
Of the Savior that was slain.
A grieving, a waiting
For empty places filled
Where broken hearts are mended
And the raging storms are stilled.
A patience, a perseverance
Until all will be made right
Restored, redeemed, at rest
When faith is finally sight.