“For me the battle continues, although I know it is Christ who rescued me,” says Akin. “This is a constant reminder that Christ actually gave up his life for me…So my experience in that [Islamic reformatory] was just a part of the road that leads to eternity with Christ. He has told us the journey will not be easy, but we must press on, no turning back.”The above paragraph is from a devotional regarding the persecuted church. This paragraph struck me. You see for the past three days I have had a fever and a horrid cough and congestion and am struggling to breathe. My husband showed no sympathy or concern....on the contrary he read me the riot act. I am not telling you this for sympathy or to make my husband look bad - He doesn't need me to do that. I am writing it to make a point. The following is what I wrote after I read the article quoted above.
I was feeling very sad about the maltreatment at the hands of my husband. And then I read this. This abuse is part of the road leading me to my eternity with Christ. It is readying me. Some people are put in prison and beaten. Others have no way out of their homes where they are despised and treated badly. Either way, it is the path of the Cross.
How often do you look at those who have mistreated you with the eyes of Jesus? Jesus does not overlook sin.....he forgives it. He applies the blood from his body to it so that it is no longer recognizable....all anyone sees is the blood of Jesus. And we too are supposed to apply the blood of Christ to our hearts and our mouths and our desires and our "need" to be handled respectfully or lovingly by those who should be doing just that. And when they don't. ...It hurts. And the temptation is to yell and stomp your feet....or to speak harshly to them. It is at these times when we must dive into the river of the Saviors' blood and let it keep us from sin. We have to hand those who hurt us into the hands of God and if we can manage it, say, "Father forgive him for he doesn't know what he is doing.
I'm trying to choose the path of the Cross in these situations. I want to let Jesus have his way in my life and I want him to handle my family in the way that only he can. As Jesus, the lamb before his shearers was silent....so am I. I bite back the hot words and desperately search for words that are neutral and will not start a fight.
I do not know what will happen with this sickness. I do not know if it will get treated quickly or at all. And that question is mattering to me less and less. Jesus is here. He can heal if that is his desire. He will comfort. He will provide for my needs. He will eradicate in me the voice that cries for fair treatment. Fair treatment is the ghost of a myth. As long as you seek it you will stir up unrest and anger. People lie. They will lie about you. Again --you can do nothing but place vindication in the hands of God. Let Him judge ....I cannot take the job of God.....Lord knows I would screw it up big time.
One thing is needed. And that is the Love of Christ. It needs to be in me....It needs to be visible to my family....it needs to be surrounding every word, it must be held up against every emotion that threatens to rip us apart. And by it, I may look at myself --covered in the Love of Jesus and ask him to SLAY in me any words or actions that are not rooted in that love.
I hear horror stories from the other side of the globe....and I could tell a few myself. But I'm trying to forget those stories. I do not want to hold on to yesterday''s pain or garbage.....I just want to recall how God used it....in circumstances and in my heart. We all must go beyond the visible....beyond the palpable....beyond the hurt and immerse ourselves in the blood and innocence of the Lamb. Then when people see us; they will see him. And do not fall for the trap of thinking that will improve things. Remember? The world hates Jesus and hates us too on his behalf. Maybe by then the training we had in self restraint and being loved by Jesus will pay off.