Joy in prison
My friend’s nephew was trying to break down the front door with a knife, screaming “I’m going to kill you.”
His nephew had joined a terrorist group, and this was the answer to my friend becoming Christian
The neighbours heard the sound, and called the police.
When they came, his nephew fled...
And our pastor is still in prison.
He is charged with attempting to overthrow the government. Still no evidence to support any charge has been given
It reminded me of my friend Suleyman.
His family had handed him to the police for changing his faith, and the police imprisoned him. There was little hope for his release. The prison janitor was a Christian however. When they discovered each other; the janitor would smuggle in scraps of the Bible, to pass to him. Maybe a little like how drugs get into our prisons?
I don’t know how it happened:
But one day Suleyman simply walked past the prison guards, out through the gate; got to the border, and crossed over. Without anyone stopping him
Last month our pastor’s children got to visit him.
This month he has been moved to a maximum security facility. Next month he will have been in prison for one year. It is hard and disheartening for him. He needs our prayers
He needs to know hope in the midst of his trouble, like Paul and Silas in Acts 16
“The joy of the LORD is our strength.”
This is our answer when the world is too much
Our pastor’s church have been having barbeque baptisms by the sea, birthday parties full of laughter;
they’re begining new churches, and having meetings of praise and worship: even of exuberant celebration
It is in this praise that we do what God asks of us:
to agree that he is good and awesome
This is our reality.
This is a joy that we and the church are learning to stand in
Sometimes yes, this world is too much for us.
But is it ever too much for God? What he says rather than what we see is a perspective of hope. What is life like from that perspective?
Yesterday I enjoyed where God says that in the future the lions will eat grass, wolves will live with lambs, and toddlers will play beside cobras;
with no harm or destruction (Isaiah 11)
That’s too cute
... Now my friend asks me to bring him a large TV, to help him invite strangers into that same home;
to sit with his family, and tell them of his hope