Pray for “Z”

This day started in a fog, literally.  Two-hour school fog delays are awesome for just about everyone, but me. I don’t really care much for them.  I was late to a meeting with some great brothers to discuss our tight churches finances. These brothers are amazing, but what I’ve written alone should tell you the excitement of the work.  Then, finally back in my office, I contemplated the ramifications of a possible delay in pay checks, etc…  and then I got a call about ‘Z’.

I know more about Z, that I can’t publish, for this 19 year old Christian’s sake. You see, Z’s Muslim family, from another country, permitted Z to come to the States for an education.  Z was recently baptized into Christ, and word has made it all the way home. Z must return  home soon. If Z recants Christianity and again practices Islam, Z will likely live. If not, death is sure. Z said of this, “how can I forsake my Lord who I have only just gotten to meet? I know what waits me.”

My kids went school today and used their newly provided Ipads in class. I’m going to a football game where my son’s team is playing later today. Yesterday, I attended church services, and was so blessed to be with God’s kids and their families. Our church is organizing to pray daily for all 98 of our kids from Nursery through College. This is a tremendous blessing. I’m simply blessed beyond measure.  And then I noticed something that shames me. My thoughts first went to my blessings, which is all very true.  BUT, I didn’t jump to the love of Jesus.

Z has brought to me a huge reminder.  While the Lord is my greatest blessing, that wasn’t what I first typed… and while I’m tempted to edit… I won’t.  Z is living out my Jesus’ words literally! Is Z’s life in Jesus less valuable than mine? Z’s story makes me sad – how could this be? And Z’s life gives me great encouragement! Not one bit of any effort, funds, or sacrifice for the young is wasted. Perhaps, had I the vision of Z, I would talk less about broken government and healthcare, and a lot more about my Jesus. My Lord. I’m wondering if I’m alone in that?

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels  (Luke 9:23-26).

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