The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you,Â for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 9:9-10 (NLT)
Those who plant in tearsÂ will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,Â but they sing as they return with the harvest.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT)
Yesterday, I was thinking about the storms in life and how our Jesus is always there. I was reading today about Christians in China. There is a massive revival going on in China. We are not hearing a lot about it because to let the world know would mean death to thousands. Those in power in China do not have the weak stomachs that we do here in the West. Killing 50,000 people would not be a blip on their internal radar. I believe there is also revival going on in India and many Muslim countries. I may never know about it until that last day when I will be able to greet my brothers and sisters.
All of my life, I have been free to worship (or not!) every day, in whatever way, I wanted to do so. I have sat on a public beach or bench with my Bible open and soaked in God through His Word and His creation. I have joined 5,000 others in worship at a revival that burst open in my own town. I did not have to hold bake sales for air fare or sleep on the gym floor at a local church. I thought I was â€˜sacrificingâ€™ by working 10 hours, grabbing a sandwich, worshiping for 4-5 hours, sleeping for 5 hours and then back to work. No, I do not really understand sacrifice.
People in the above mentioned countries read the verses in Psalms that I am reading in a very different light. I have no first hand knowledge but I can attempt to imagine being in a small cell block, with no hope of release, tortured whenever my captors feel like it â€“ because they can. The fact that I am a woman can either mean nothing or worse treatment. I do not have a Bible tucked in my pocket. I have verses in my mind. Verses that have been passed along in various secret ways among the Believers who donâ€™t exist â€“ except in the Fatherâ€™s heart. He knows where every child is. The chain of grace is of a length that we canâ€™t conceive. The one-to-one-to-one-to-one links that bind all of these souls together will never be accurately recorded in any church roll. Their church will not be listed as a mega-church until that Day when the Only Church will live together in the City where there is no need for sun or moon because Jesus, in His Glory, will be the Light. Meanwhile, in prisons, in home churches that rotate so that no one â€˜catches onâ€™, Jesus meets with the faithful and they worship the One who is their Hope in a country of oppression and troubles.
I am praying today for people I will never meet; never know their name. I am praying for those who bring the Good News to them. They, too, are in danger. Your passport, even American, will not keep you out of prison, as your religious beliefs are the same as your allegiance to your country. Someone encouraging Christianity in a Muslim country is committing treason and subversive. Yes, I am praying for protection, wisdom, favor, grace, encouragement, all that is needed to do the Kingdom work that God has asked them to do. Oh, Father, Your promises.
These children are in a different type of storm than I am. The Savior that comes across the water to reach down and lift us up is the same.