For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)
These words from Jesus seem strange. What is easy - and what is light?
Even the decision to start practicing it is heavy. But once having decided, we notice that it is easy. I experienced this in a camp with political prisoners. The life that the prison guards arranged for us seemed one dark nightmare. But by the spiritual attitude of my friends and myself this nightmare changed completely.
Why? Because we had an amazing sense of protection around us and a conviction that all the evil intentions of the guards ultimately would only lead us closer to the heavenly kingdom.
Knocked out by cold or hunger? Threatened with death?
But aren't we serving the Lord? The fear of suffering loses all its power when a person takes up that service.
The inevitable sadness only scratches the outer cover of the soul - but can never penetrate it. There, within, is only light and joy and peace. And from there comes new strength.
And every time you are astonished you remember: Christ did promise that it would be light!
Writer for the month - Irina Ratushinskaya from Russia was imprisoned for seven years in a labor camp. She has written about her experiences in a moving book entitled Grey is the Colour of Hope published by Sceptre Books, 1989.
Copyright [C] 1995 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
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Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
compiled by Jan Pit with a forward by Brother Andrew (paperback, revised 2000)
Compelling wisdom from the pen of actual believers living amidst persecution, you'll be connected to the suffering, courage, and depth of life that exists in the harshest places in the world. Each of these 365 thought-provoking devotions will deepen your understanding of Christian persecution and provoke you to pray for our brothers and sisters with a new found depth.