While Ashley has been in preschool this week, I’ve been painting at our rental house. While this has been a very productive time, I have found myself a little paranoid while there, locking doors, easily startled, etc. I guess I’m doing this because I’m not very familiar with the neighborhood and we have been told that though the neighbors are kind, they seem to attract some shady guests. As I am painting, my mind rambles and I have found myself thinking through scenarios of people breaking in while I’m there, coming to steal our tools or money or to harm me. Yes, I know it is pretty irrational to think of this happening in broad daylight. However, I found myself having those thoughts a lot on the first day I was working over there.

Later in the week while painting again, I started down this same road of fearful thinking, and was then reminded of this book I’ve been reading called Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn. If you haven’t read it, it is a gripping novel about Christians in China and the persecution they experience. Through the storyline, it paints a picture of the underground church, the ways believers are tracked, followed, harassed and hurt…all because of their faith. It talks about how they have to travel by bike or foot in the middle of the night, just to gather quietly in someone’s home for a time of worship. This story tells us of one man’s journey of living all out for God–desiring above all else to share the story of God’s grace and love with other people. He lives in such a way that he asks himself daily, “Is this the day I will die.” Authorities and others can take all his earthly possessions, but they cannot take his faith. And for this faith, he is willing to make any sacrifice, accept any punishment.

As I reflected upon this contrast in fears between Li Quan’s and my own, I was humbled. Here I am, fearing someone will come in and hurt ME or take some of our “STUFF.” Here is Li Quan, who would probably love to have a problem as simple as my conjured up problem-people following him and harassing him for something as simple as his money or possessions. That would be such an “easy” burden to bear and easy to resolve. For he is being persecuted for his faith, which no one will be able to “steal” from him, therefore his beatings and persecution will continue.

Praise Him that no person can take our living and active faith in Jesus. I pray that the Lord would work in my heart to consider and re-focus my priorities and treasures-that they would be eternal in nature. Lord, help me to see with the perspective of your eyes and the wisdom of your mind. Teach me what is important, and what is not. Help me to make wise decisions and grant me the confidence and boldness necessary to do so.

If you’re still reading at this point…may the Lord also help you to re-focus your priorities and help you to focus on heavenly treasures, not those on earth, where moth and rust destroy.


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