January 12, 2023
How is it – HOW IS IT? – that those in hostile and restricted areas, with barely sanitary living conditions or clean water, can give their lives for Jesus, while we, in this rich, blessed country, can barely give Him two hours on a Sunday? Why does this grip my heart so much? Oh, sometimes I feel I could WAIL to see Him receive the reward of His suffering, to get the honor He deserves. Sometimes I DO wail.
Two nights ago, I dreamed that I was on some kind of jungle island. I was watching two tribesmen assault a Christian on a sandy road between two jungle groves. I was standing directly behind them, watching in the spirit, so I could not be seen, but there was occasional fear that they would turn around and see me. I had in my hand a very small fillet knife and I was aware that it would not protect me if I were seen.
The two tribesmen had the Christian on the ground on his back on the sandy road. One of the tribesmen had a long pole of giant bamboo with the end cut through the diameter so that it formed a semicircle. He was striking the Christian’s face and forehead with the end of the pole, with force. The Christian was already badly beaten when I appeared on the scene, so he was barely moving, but he was able to turn onto his belly and drag himself, by making two efforts, several inches toward the trees. I knew that he eventually got away. I believed the tribesmen left him alone at that point because they were sure he would die.
Then the scene changed, and I was sitting at a large table at a restaurant next to the sister of the Christian. She had scars on her face, one of which scarred her eye partially closed. She was telling me about how her brother had escaped, and how Voice of the Martyrs was going to do an article on him. She said he wondered “if he was going to make it.” I thought, “He wonders if his story is going to make it into the magazine. I’m sure not all stories of persecution do.” I sat next to his sister as she was telling me this and did not say anything. I had fallen silent.
Then the scene changed again. I was somewhere walking alone, and I realized I had been wrong. The persecuted Christian was wondering if he was going to make it into the kingdom of heaven as a martyr for the Gospel. And I thought back to that dinner with her, and I urgently wished I had said, “What an honor.”