I get in moods sometimes where it seems every other word out of my mouth (that evil, deceptive tongue again!) is a criticism, a complaint, or a whine of some sort. I rail against the circumstances of life that I cannot change, and I know it--still I must try--, and when the truth is told, I complain and gripe out of frustration.
I have just finished reading a book that opened my eyes. The book is called "Sister Freaks" and it is a great read. Lest you men think otherwise, this book is for everyone. It's about women who stand up for God in various ways and oh, my, what some of them have to stand up to!
I think of all the times I have allowed myself to be hurt by unkind comments or looks, how upset I tend to get when people seem to 'make fun' of me for my faith.
Meanwhile, across the globe, and here too, are women and men who've been beaten, tortured, thrown in prison. They've been forced to abandon their homes and families for their faith. They have to sneak around to have church. Some of these women have had their heads shaved in public humiliation, been stripped naked and beaten in the middle of the street, in front of their whole villages. Just for daring to worship Jesus Christ. Talk about a nation taking things for granted! Don't we!!? It's all fairly tame for us here--we might get picked on some, but certainly nothing on that level. Yes, it's easy for us to worship God when we don't face that kind of adversity, isn't it? What would we do if we had to stand firm against this type of opposition? These are the things I think about when I read of these really ordinary people who do such extraordinary things, who stand against horrible circumstances AND AREN'T MOVED AWAY FROM THEIR FAITH ONE LITTLE WHIT!!!! I find it amazing. What would I do? Hmmmm--there's a question worthy of much pondering.
We here in America tend to forget that we have the freedom to worship Our Lord anytime, anywhere, and in any manner we choose. Some people don't have that right. Some people are dying in His name as I sit here typing this. People are being brutalized for the very thing that I am able to enjoy freely and openly. Yet some of us still choose not to be open about Jesus. Some people would love to be able to speak His name out loud without fear of repercussions. We run around Jesus this, God that, Lord, I want, and we don't think twice about it, like Our Lord is a puppet on a string, a genie in a bottle who's just waiting to grant our every wish, obey our every command. Like WE'RE the ones in control, not Him. I'm going to start praying in a different way now. My eyes have been opened, along with my heart, which now aches for those other people who don't get to enjoy the freedoms I take for granted every day. Lord, forgive me for my blindness. I don't know what I was thinking as I was sitting here in my little insulated Jesus bubble. I don't need anything except You, and the right to speak with You on behalf of so many other people who suffer so tremendously on Your behalf. Lord, keep them safe and strong. Jesus, keep me in Your care along with them, and don't let my eyes close in ignorance again.
I forget these things because they are mine. They are free to me because I live in America. They are costing others so very much, yet still those people stand firm in their faith, strongly planted in His love and truth.
I'm going to do my best to quit my whining. I must seem like such a baby to the Lord in comparison to what others are enduring in His name. I know He doesn't make comparisons, but being human, I do.
Please, I highly recommend the above mentioned book, along with another one called "Jesus Freaks", to everyone. Inspirational doesn't quite describe them, though they both are. Motivational is more like it.
Also, pray for our brethren in other parts of the world. I believe that things will be getting even more difficult for them, and for us, in the very near future. Hold one another up--we're all going to need it, just as we all need it now.
Thanks for a true article. The thing is that God doesn't deserve our whining, He deserves thankfulness, love, devotion, worship... all things like this, but He probably endures more whining than anything else. Thankfully, He is patient!
"Aw, quit that whining." That is what I tell myself often. When I look around, I realize I really have nothing to whine about. Times may get real tough for us here in America one day. Keep praying. Thomas
Beth - I have read Jesus Freaks and it was a real eye opener. I haven't read Sister Freaks yet but I plan to now. Thanks for the encouragement. I, too whine to God sometimes. Thank goodness He loves us anyway. In Christ's Love,