A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing my feelings about something that had made me sad. To be honest, I could never have envisioned what would transpire as a result of that post. As in all things, God showed me how He could still use it for good even though I will admit it was most unpleasant.
The day before the post, I came across the following verses:
35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV) (The verses I posted for Scripture Saturday on 10/11.)
The first time I came across them, I had gone to Biblegateway.com to look up a passage of scripture. These were the verses of the day on their homepage. Then, I stumbled on the EXACT. SAME. VERSES. on a blog which I had never visited before. These verses were the passage for the day on the blog’s homepage (I’m sorry. I don’t remember whose blog it was, or I would give her credit).
Now, my friend Amy and I have a name for this. We call it having a “2 x 4 moment.” Meaning that obviously God is trying to tell us something, and it is as if He has hit us over the head with a 2 x 4!
When this happens, I try to stop and pray and ask God what it is He wants me to know. I knew I was having one of those “moments,” but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what God was trying to say…that is, until the next couple of days. And then a few days after that.
The short version is this. I was attacked for my comments in the post I mentioned earlier. I was called ugly names, and my beliefs were challenged. It shook me up. I was shocked. I was hurt. And honestly, I was a little afraid.
All the while, God kept saying, “Do you trust Me?”
Me: Yes, God, I trust You.
God: Do you?
Me: Yes, God, I do.
God: Then why are you afraid?
The truth is, I had never been…I hesitate to use the word “persecuted,” for my beliefs before. But then, I looked up the word “persecute” on Merriam-Webster.com, and this is the definition: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief. This was what happened to me. The comments made in response to my post, one in particular, were meant to cause me to suffer because of the beliefs I had stated.
I realize that there are Christian missionaries out in the field risking their lives, and many dying, on a daily basis for their beliefs. I am not, nor would I, compare myself to them. I have not been put on the front line as they have, nor have I faced certain death if I refused to back down from my belief system. I can only pray that should I ever find myself in that position, I will honor My Father In Heaven who made me and loves me, and His Son who died for me so that I do not have to spend eternity separated from either of them.
Still, this was new to me. And God used it to grow me. He used it to give me a small taste of what it is like for those who put themselves on the line every day. He also used it to bring me closer to Him. To trust Him more than the day before.
And isn’t that really what it is all about? Knowing Him more, and trusting Him more, and conforming more to the image of His Son. A little bit. Each day. Whatever comes.
Next time, I will be a bit stronger, and I pray my faith will be as well.