Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This past Sunday was International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This day is set aside to pray for Christians across the globe being persecuted for their faith, many giving their lives for the sake of Christ. As attention was brought to this need for prayer during our worship service on Sunday, we were reminded how passionately these believers follow Christ. We were reminded that many of them do not have a copy of the Word to read for themselves, so they sneak away, often hiding in wooded areas, etc to meet with a few other believers for encouragement and truth. Maybe only one out of a group of 5 or 6 even has access to the written Word, sometimes only a page or two.

But - that limitation does not stop them.

They bond together during those times and truly live out Psalms 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Those strong believers are more concerned about knowing God’s truth within themselves and obeying God than bowing to any ruler or government.

As I heard their stories, the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” stirred within me. It seems the absence of accessibility to Scripture and a local church body makes their hearts grow fonder of the Gospel.

My life, as I have lived thus far, can in no way compare to the lives these brothers and sisters endure, but I have experienced the meaning of the old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. I mean that in relation to the accessibility of Scripture and or godly influence from time to time. For example, as I have told you before, I love Christian music and there have been times over the years where my heart has longed for the encouragement Christian music brings as I go through my work day – But - the absence of that access, made my ears so excited to tune in once I was in my car. My spirit was like a sponge soaking all of the lyrics and scripture put to music.

There have also been times, one even a few short weeks ago, where I read a verse, but never appreciated it fully until an experience along the course of my day brought its application to light. The sad part was, I had not fully hidden it within my heart and could not recall exactly the words or the exact location of that scripture. I became DESPERATE to know EXACTLY where it was and EXACTLY what God said.

There is something about those moments that I both love and loathe. I love the satisfaction, assurance, and truth that I know His Word has for me. When those scriptures come to life’s light, it becomes like a treasure hunt in my mind until I can get my hands on His word. My love for His letters to me deepens. At the same time, I get so frustrated when I can’t go to just the right place to see what it was He had to say to me. I kick myself for not taking His words to me more seriously and for not paying more attention. Although I both love and loathe them, moments like these seem to fuel my passion for His truth and make me want more and more of Him. Absence makes my heart grow fonder.

I say all of that to say this, if the absence of my mere accessibility to verses causes my heart to grow fonder toward my Jesus, I cannot imagine the fire that burns within the hearts of those persecuted people. If they must risk their lives to even share His presence with their very few close knit friends who believe, their hearts must be like a blazing wildfire on the inside. They must meet every second that they live as they stand on Him alone, every trial that they face in solitude in their faith, with an expectation of seeing God at work.

I repeat – They must meet every SECOND that they live….with an expectation of seeing God at work. I don’t do that. Not every second, not every minute, not every hour.

I don’t expect to see Him while I’m in the grocery store.

I don’t expect to see Him as I talk with patients at work.

I don’t expect to see Him as I meet a stranger in the parking lot.

But He is there, in ALL those places, and my spiritual mind is not engaged. His words aren’t playing back to me from the deepest places of my heart.

Because I never hid them there.

Oh, that we would have that passion within us.

Oh God, it frightens me too much to pray for persecution, but I boldly pray for that passion, that fire to drive my every step. I thank You that You placed me in this nation that I may worship You freely, where I may read and recite your word without fear. I don’t know why You chose to place me here, but I am thankful. Show me, Father, where to go from here. What comes next in birthing that passion within my heart? Search me and reveal to me what is in my life that dulls the passion that comes from a life on fire by a love for You.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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  1. OK - You don't even have to look to see who wrote this after you read it :). I love the way you can move around on the page much better with the tabs and everything, but the way it looks on the page bugged me very much yesterday. It's all out of line and everything. I'm wondering if my computer is just not loading it correctly or is it all out of wack. Don't give my opinion a lot of merit.....you know I have issues! Love you, Brittany

  2. Did you get a chance to watch the video of Salavat that I gave Todd? That short little 5 minute video left me a wreck and just as heartbroken as the "Anguish" video we watched at church.

    We really take our freedom for granted especially as Christians in the American church.

    As heartbroken as I get over the situations that these people endure, their passion and desire for Christ, their drive to make God #1 in their life, above and beyond anything else, even if it means death, inspires me.

    It inspires me to seek Him more often, to love Him more, and it gives me a realization that God has given us a responsibility here in the US to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ to support and pray for them.

    What are we doing with the time God has given us here on this earth?

    I go throughout my day as you said, not expecting to see Him in the things that surround me. Whether its listening to music, or reading His Word, those things are being retained in my soul, and are influencing my thoughts, my decisions, and my attitudes throughout my day.

    What kind of influences are we allowing into our homes and our hearts?

    "When those scriptures come to life’s light, it becomes like a treasure hunt in my mind until I can get my hands on His word" - Amen to that.

    I get so excited, sometimes I'll share something with Camillia that even though it was revealed to us in part, whenever God gives you the full revelation of what He is trying to get across to You, there isn't anything more exciting to me than that. I treasure those moments and that time with Him.

    If we are truly following Christ with our lives, I believe we will see persecution. It may not be as severe as what our brothers and sisters face overseas, but we see it here. We receive persecution from our families, our friends, and from others within our own church.

    Just as you, I am scared to pray for persecution, but I pray daily for that hunger for God. Not for the things of God, but for God Himself. I pray every day to experience Him, not His blessings, or His stuff.

    Today's post is officially my favorite post of your so far.

  3. Hi mom! I love u!

  4. hi! It's Carson McKee. I LOVE your blog!!!!!!!!!!!


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