A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankful-Day 28 (I Don't Want To Be Here)

Working a part time job has been an eye-re-opening experience so far.  After working for myself for the past 10 years, I've been able to make many choices that I now cannot make for myself like where I will work, when I will work, and with whom I will work.  I knew that I would see many things in the workplace and I prepare myself each morning by spending time in the Word and prayer so as not to get sucked into it and to set a stark contrast to it through my actions at work.

Recently I received this devotional through Bible Gateway in my inbox.


Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The overflow of singing praises amid great difficulties has tremendous spiritual power. Paul and Silas set the biblical pattern in the prison in Philippi (Acts 16).
Helen Berhane spent almost three years in the shipping container prisons of Eritrea. In her book Song of the Nightingale, she shares about the first time she and other women were put in an old metal shipping container that was very hot and filled with fleas and lice:
Everyone was very despondent, and many of the women were angry. They asked me what we should do and I knew they were expecting me to say that we should shout or bang the container, to let our captors know that we were not going to tolerate this treatment. But I remembered… [reading] about how Christians, like nightingales, could not be prevented from singing even in captivity, and I suggested that we sing: “We should praise God in spite of the fleas, in spite of the lice, in spite of the heat. We should thank God despite our circumstances.” So I began to sing with them, and pray, and share the Word of God from memory.[1]
Pastor Ung Sophal sat in a filthy Cambodian prison badly beaten. His hands and feet were chained for five months. “Only my mouth was unchained,” he said.
“...So I sang to God in prison all the time. Another prisoner heard me singing through a small hole in the wall, so I taught him the song—a bit at a time. He passed it on and soon eight of us were singing.”
Archbishop Dominic Tang spent twenty-two years in prison in China for his faith. He reports:
“Besides my prayer and meditation, every day I sang some hymns in a soft voice: ‘Jesus I live for you; Jesus I die for you; Jesus I belong to you. Whether alive or dead I am for Jesus!’ This hymn was taught to me by a Protestant prisoner who lived in my cell.”[2]
RESPONSE: Today I will respond to all the challenges of life I face with praise and thankfulness.
PRAYER: Pray that all Christian prisoners around the world will also respond to their circumstances as those documented above.
1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale, ( Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 36-37.
2. Tony Lambert, The Resurrection of the Chinese Church(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1991), p 179.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

Then yesterday I was sitting in the locker room at work when a couple of workers walked in.  One flopped down on the couch and said "I don't want to be here!"  The other agreed and they proceeded to sit and complain of how unfair and terrible their job was.  As I sat there in a nicely heated room, on a soft and comfortable couch in a place where everyone in this town desires to work because of it's pay, opportunities for advancement and it's benefit package, it just seemed such a stark contrast between these workers and those dear saints who had been in much much worse conditions but who chose to sing.  I wanted to stand up and tell these women to get a life, but I refrained.  It is only my second day at this job, you know!  LOL!   

As I continued through my day doing the boring tasks that I do at this job, I found a renewed joy and thankfulness for all that God had provided me.  And as I worked away, I hummed a praise song to myself.  And I prayed for those saints around the world who are suffering for Christ, imprisoned. languishing away in dirty disease-filled cells.  

There are days I don't want to be here, I'll admit, but it's those days when I, like Abraham realize that I am living as a foreigner in this world.  It is not my home.  My home is in a city whose builder and maker is God.  This world has no appeal to me.  Thank God this world is not all there is.  What a sad documentary of the human experience that would be! 

So today, I will choose to sing!!  No matter where I am, what I'm doing, and who I am doing it with.  When I think on Jesus, what other response is there?   He can lift the spirit above this world!  He can cheer the heart and fill my soul with the wondrous expectation of what it to come that will make this present day, with all it's troubles and challenges, seem but a tiny speck in the timeline of eternity!   And perhaps, should someone hear my song and respond, they may just travel there with me on that glorious day when we all the redeemed are called home!

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