Eight and a half years ago, when I was preparing to welcome Camilla into this world, my deepest prayer for her was that she would come to know and love Jesus as much as I do—more, even. I wanted to see all my children follow Him.
I still want that—yes. But now there is more. Now it has been brought to our attention that our brothers and sisters are being martyred. Christians are being beheaded by Muslim extremists. I got an email regarding it a few months ago and I didn’t want to believe it. It’s the kind of thing you know happens sometimes—once in a great while maybe. But not regularly. Not in today’s world.
Yes. In today’s world. Regularly. Often. And maybe, in my lifetime—or in your lifetime—it will happen here. I hope not. I pray with all my heart that our nation will remain a safe and free one until Jesus returns. But even more than that my prayer for you, my children, has gone deeper to ask for a faith strong enough to die, to endure torture, for the name of Christ. I pray that our family won’t have to face that fate—here on our native soil or in foreign lands. But I also see the eternal perspective. What matters most is that we can face it if we need to. That my children and grandchildren are strong enough, that they know their Savior and love Him enough even to die for Him. As He died for them.
Furthermore, I see anew the importance of telling others that Jesus died for them. It’s easy when life is humming along, and we’re caught up in our personal business, to forget that we’re all going to die. It’s easy to put that aside and just focus on being nice and showing love. Showing love is important. It’s part of God’s plan. They’ll know we are Christians by our love. By all means, show love! But show them where your love comes from, too.
This world we live in right now is crazy. It sucks. It's crappy. I could use stronger words, but I’m writing to my children. I can’t even comprehend the devastation. And what can change it? Nothing can change the direction we’re headed except the love of a Savior. The Savior you already know. His love changes people, it changes hearts, it changes lives. It can change our world, one life at a time.
God loves every member of ISIS. I can’t quite wrap my head around that, but He wants them saved. And if He does, so do I. Imagine the difference it would make, if radical Muslims, now filled with hate, met a living Savior and were filled with love instead.
I’ve been asking myself what we can do. And now I know. We can do what we should have been doing all along. Press closer to Jesus, ask Him for a faith strong enough to endure, pray for our world, and share the good news. Let’s live our lives with a renewed resolution to do that. Perhaps you were born into this world for this purpose. My sweet Evangeline, whose name means “Bringer of Good News,” perhaps this is your calling. It’s a calling for every one of us. So let’s take up the mantle and live like we believe it.