Monday, November 02, 2009

28 Days of Joy -- Day 15

I know that suffering for Jesus is super-hard, but I read Acts 5:41 this evening and was immediately sobered.

"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."

Dear, dear, dear. My little life has so many comforts, even in the midst of the great spiritual battles. Hard they are, yes, but no one is beating me, no one is arresting me, no one is throwing me into disease-ridden cells.

Am I not counted worthy?

I am not being facetious here, or hyperbolic; and I'm not trying to make a point. When will the church in America encounter physical opposition? When we do, I'm going to take it as a good sign. Not that dedication and persecution are causally linked (I can't remember the technical term, but you know what I mean). But power and persecution often are, I think! Once we get dangerous to the enemy's bottom line, the enemy ups his attentions. I don't want his attentions, but I do want to be counted worthy to suffer shame. (I guess that shame doesn't always have to be physical.)

The Lord did comfort me a bit with the reminder that time is a wider and less algebraic thing than I usually calculate. Perhaps I am worthy; that doesn't necessarily mean the "beatings" will happen today. Just eventually...

You've probably already guessed that I was reading my new VOM tonight. The back cover, with the photos of Marzieh and Maryam made me weep. I want to be counted worthy, but I also want every Christian to be rescued and spared the persecution they're under. Especially His women. Lord, make me worthy! But Lord, rescue your daughters!


Dora said...

so awesome.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I've been pondering what you wrote. I love how your heart seems to always be after God and how you're not content with the ordinary.

I don't want to live in poverty or under persecution. But my goal is to live as close to God as possible. One thing I've learned is that if you say 'yes' to God, He'll never let you live an easy life, regardless of your external circumstances. He will always be leading you into places where your faith will be tested and expanded. There is too much work to be done in the world to allow any one of us to coast and He will utilize each of us to the fullest extent we allow Him.

I do believe the church in America will have the opportunity to respond to hardship. I assume you're familar with Crisis Response International.

Here's some news on the Marzieh and Maryam. Amazing women.