If It Would Save My Child, Would I Deny My Faith?
I’ve lived a relatively easy life.
I grew up in a comfortable home in Dallas, with a loving family. I received a good education.
I met Jesus in high school. He changed my life. I wanted to please Him, to live a holy and moral life. I desired to tell other people how they could know Him. I said, “I surrender. My life is Yours. I choose You and Your plans for me."
When God called me into ministry 50 years ago, that commitment was tested. I broke an engagement and gave up a long-term dream so I could follow Him. But I loved what God gave me to do—writing and editing and touching lives for Jesus with my words.
All was not wonderful, of course. Sometimes I felt under utilized as a woman. My ministry support was low and therefore so was my income. I had to wait a long time to get married. My first baby cried and cried, but gratefully my second baby slept a lot. Then God sent us a 9-year-old boy who added ongoing challenge to our lives.
So it was a good life of family and service to God with some definite opportunities to trust Him and to persevere in difficult times.
As my responsibilities in the ministry grew and my exposure to the wider world expanded, I became aware of many of God’s children whose lives were far more challenging than mine.
I saw the financial struggles, the surrounding corruption, the disapproval of family, the persecution. I met those who had been imprisoned for proclaiming Jesus. I spent time with a wife and mom whose husband had been brutally murdered for his faith. I knew of staff who had given their lives showing the Jesus Film.
Their faith has stood the test. Of course there were tears and fears. Why’s and how’s. Pain beyond description. Yet still they have said, “I trust You, God. I will keep believing and keep telling people about Your love given to us through Jesus Christ. I will proclaim Your mercy and grace and power.”
When I hear their stories, when I see pictures of starving refugees, when I read of the atrocities being done to His people, of people watching husbands or wives—or children—snatched away and tortured or raped or murdered…Then I ask…Would I be so strong, so courageous, so faithful?
If I were given a choice to recant, or be killed? Or watch my child be murdered? What would I choose?My commitment says, “Yes, I would stand. I would be faithful.”My heart agrees with Peter: “No, Lord. I would never deny you.”
My will is strong and says, “I will. I can do all things through Christ.”
My faith trusts in God: “He has always been there for me. He has provided, loved, comforted, encouraged, forgiven, strengthened…”
But if I were confronted with the horror of enduring the terror, of choosing the unchooseable, could I stand? Or would I deny my faith?
I know that God says He will be with me in every trial, every circumstance. He has said He will enable me to do what He calls me to do, to bear what He allows in my life.
He has promised that His grace is sufficient—it is more than enough. I have had abundant grace for my hard choices and difficult challenges.
But that grace—that special grace for those awful possibilities—will be given when I need it.
Thus far, I have not needed it.So I take heart as I live and love where He has me. As I give and pray for those needing grace today. As I let His light shine through me.I press in close to the sheltering arms of my Father. I listen to my Savior’s words of love and mercy and hope. And I walk moment by moment in the power of His Spirit who always lives in me--and gives grace for every need.
What about you? Have you asked this question?
C2014 Judy Douglass