Last month I went to a viewing of the movie Furious Love. It was made by the same guy who made The Finger of God (which I posted in my article archive). This movie was supposed to be about God's love and how it changes lives. In it a guy gave a testimony of how bad persecution was in a country he had visited. The story he gave haunted me. Rebels pulled a van over to raid it and randomly killed men, which was a regular occurrence. A woman in the van, who had her baby, started screaming mostly because one of the guys that was murdered was her brother. The rebels proceeded to yell at her and then take the baby by the legs and hit it against the van until he died. The mom completely freaked and they ended up killing her as well.
Of all the stories and visuals in the movie this stuck with me the most. I kept questioning, "How would I have responded as the mother? Would I have freaked out? Would I have gone mad?" I couldn't get the image out of my head. It made me want to throw up. How could people be so cruel? And to a baby, the most innocent?
As I wrestled with these questions I realized that to survive anything like the story, on a spiritual level, would take focusing on the eternal. In reality, the men, baby and mother who were murdered wouldn't be suffering any longer. They wouldn't have to live in fear and persecution any more. In light of eternity they would be spending it with Jesus. Their eternal lives were covered.
On that I started thinking about the lives of the rebels. It broke my heart how they could allow themselves to be so perverse, so evil. What would drive a person to do such disgusting things? Did these people have any hearts? Any hope? Did any light shine in them? In spite of a fleshy desire to hate, I had to pray.
Lord, open their eyes! Open their hearts! Give the Christians they persecute love for them that will completely freak them out. Let their love, YOUR love, shine deep into their darkness. Let the joy your children have despite their trials be something these men would covet.
While praying I got a picture of a church being set on fire, locked from outside, and was lead to pray for those inside. Lord, give these people joy! Spur them to worship You despite circumstances to show the men outside exactly how You can touch a person. Let their lives be testimonies and not a waste! Let them feel no pain, but instead gaze into Your eyes upon flames.
When the evil men come to slay Your children let them not be harmed. Give them boldness to turn to their would-be murderers and tell them about YOU. Show them Your power and mercy!
Lord, pierce my heart for these lost people! Help me have an eternal mindset daily! Help me prepare myself and my kids to prepare their kids for the time of persecution Your Word says is coming. Help me teach hope and perfect love which casts out fear. Prepare us for the coming of Your miracles and prepare our hearts to confront our enemies with love for them. Conquer my flesh, strengthen my spirit...