Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
A young girl grew up in an extremely religious family. Her father was a sheikh (leader) at a local mosque. One night she had a dream in which a dove came down from the sky and turned into a man when it reached the ground. The man took her by the hand and led her to the cross. He explained that he died for her, that the cross paid for her sins, that she was forgiven, and that she could have new life if she would follow him. He also told her that there was a book written about him.
She woke up knowing that the man died for her and that there was a really long book written about him. For three years she searched for someone who was willing to tell her more about this dream. She did not even know the name of the man.
Finally, the young lady found someone willing and able to tell her that the man’s name is Jesus. That moment began her journey of discovering who Jesus was. She was able to search His name. She found that He is the Son of God and the book was called the Bible. She began to read.
She found Jesus’ words to be freeing and life-giving, different from anything she ever read before. She began to share Jesus’ words with her family and tell them about her dream. Her BELIEF in who Jesus was pushed her towards bold proclamation. She was quickly threatened by family and community for reading this book, and they made many forceful attempts to keep her in Islam. But all of their attempts to stop her did not stop her from seeking Him. She was so desperate to follow after the Man from her dreams.
One night, her mother shook her awake and told her that she must leave because her father was bringing her uncles and cousins to force her back into Islam or they would take her life. She was forced to leave her family, community, security, her future, even her name, at the threat of death if she returned still a follower of Jesus.
When this young lady told her story to us for the first time, my wife was so broken over the fact that she had to leave everything behind. My wife looked at this young girl and said, “I am so sorry.” The girl looked back at her, almost with a look of offense. She said, “No, no! Do not be sorry! Jesus is so worth it.”
Is Jesus worth it to you? Do we truly BELIEVE that God is able and willing to move on our hearts and the hearts of the nations? It was this young woman’s unshakable belief and faith in Jesus that allowed her to endure the pain of persecution.
What does our belief in Jesus enable us to do? Are we willing to suffer for His name? Do we believe that He is with us even unto the ends of the earth? Let pray that Jesus would give us unshakable faith in the face of difficult circumstances.
(From North Africa)