When Bethany was in 3rd grade I walked into her bedroom one day to find her laying face down on her carpet crying. As I knelt beside her and listened to her 7 year old sobs, I asked with great concern what was wrong.
Bethany got on her knees, looked me in the eyes and said, “Mom, there is a boy in my class whose mom was just sent to prison and I’m so sad for him.”
In that moment, I did the only thing I knew to do. I took my daughter’s hands and we prayed.
We prayed until her heart felt peace.
We then talked about how she could reach out to this little boy.
Fast forward sixteen years later-
A few days ago Bethany sent me a text telling me she was having a hard time sleeping because of what was happening in the Middle East. Her heart was burdened as she thought of the unfathomable things happening to those who won’t deny their faith-
And children……….And children?
What the heck?
Bethany is an intercessor.
Not from her mind but from a heart that has tapped into the heart of the One True God. She’s been doing this since she was a little girl. And I marvel.
Bethany can’t ignore what’s happening.
Even though this evil is far removed from her current reality, she knows it might not always be.
A reality that does not yet call on Bethany’s own courage to make such choices.
Choices those who have gone before us have already made.
In fact, Scripture records what Peter and the apostles did when faced with the same persecutions.
“So they went on their way from the presence of the Council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and peaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:41,42 (NASB)
Many of them later went on to be martyrs.
What would keep a person “right on teaching and preaching” in the face of death?
Why would such persons consider themselves worthy to suffer for His name?
What is it about Jesus that gains such loyalty among His followers?
The only way these questions can be answered that would serve to bring understanding is, YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW HIM.
If you know Him, you would know. If you don’t know Him, it makes no sense.
And I don’t mean you know about Him……. but you have experienced His presence.
You have heard His voice speaking to your spirit.
And you have felt His love wrap you up and give you peace.
Bethany knows Him. And this is where her peaces comes from.