Living in the Real World

Most of us in America have never had to face such opposition. We can learn much about faith from the example of your Pakistani friends. We will continue to keep them in our prayers.  May we continue to fix our eyes on Jesus, our Ultimate Example.

On August 21, 2017 at 1:45 AM Aimee Smith, a missionary in Taiwan, wrote this:
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3

What a verse. I am reminded of a situation I found myself in recently.

I was visiting my Pakistani friends in the immigration detention center a week and a half ago. It is very hard to communicate when visiting people, because everyone is in one large open-air room. The detained people are separated from the visitors by two large fence dividers which have about 3 feet between them. You literally have to yell through the fences and do your best to hear or lip read. It is nearly impossible to have a real conversation. So there are a lot of awkward silences as you look at your friends across the fences and cannot communicate easily. During this visiting time, the 16 year old was yelling to me that she and her mother were fasting all day and praying. (She had also told me previously on the phone that many of the women were fasting and praying.) I could see the hope and joy on her face, and even a sense of rest and contentment. Every time she calls me she talks about how God is good and faithful and will make a way for them.

In contrast, a young middle-eastern woman next to me had come to visit a young man who was detained. Maybe they were married, I’m not sure. However, they were both full of anger and hopelessness. They were yelling at each other (out of necessity as well as anger), frustrated at their circumstances and blaming each other for their predicament. I do not have any idea what their story is or what brought him to detention. However, it was a stark contrast from my friends who were also imprisoned, who were calmly and patiently waiting for the Lord to make a way for them.

I’m not saying my friends are “happy” or “fine” because they aren’t. Their situation is dire and they are very aware of that. But they know our good God and fully trust Him and love Him with their whole hearts. I have never once seen them question their faith or question their God. It is quite amazing.

These people have been persecuted in their home country and fear for their lives. Their only option right now is to go right back into the persecution or stay detained in an unpleasant prison. But yet they choose to spend their days fasting, praying, and worshipping.

Here I am, in my comfortable home, with the finances to provide for our family’s needs. My children attend a great school and are happy and thriving. Our health is good and we are safe. Yet I struggle with complaining, anger at times, and the daily stresses of life. I need to regain perspective.

I think it is good for us to remember those who are suffering daily and having to think about things like life and death–those who endure very strong opposition from sinners. It is even better when we hear of the ones who are truly living out their faith in the midst of circumstances difficult for many of us Westerners to comprehend. As we think of these people, let it encourage us to keep seeking the Lord and walking in obedience to whatever he has called you to do, in whatever circumstances you find yourselves in. Let us not grow weary as we continue to do good.

  My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. 4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. 8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. 11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:3-11 (KJV)

Amiee and her husband, Travis Smith, are missionaries serving in Thailand.
We here in America have such few trials and such little persecution compared to what is happening around the world.  And, as we see, faith is strong worldwide.  Amiee is also a song writer Her songs are published on YouTube.

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