The only thing worth living for

A couple days ago on September 11th, 2014, I was in my mom-mobile talking with my 2 boys, 9 and 8 years old. In school, they had talked about what happened on that fateful day 13 years ago, years before they were born.

After seeing the aftermath of a small plane crashing into a house in the next town over from us this summer, they understood a little about what a tiny 2 person plane can do to a single family dwelling and the houses around it. For their sweet little minds to wrap around, as my 9 year old put it, “huge planes….you know the ones we take to Atlanta to visit our cousins….flying into huge buildings…like the Sears tower” was tough. He concluded his thoughts by saying that we sure are lucky to live in America where we don’t have to experience that kind of terrorism all of the time.

My 8 year old said: “Yeah, Mommy….and we don’t have to worry about people cutting off our heads because we believe in Jesus.”
That guy….he sure knows how to cut to the heart of a situation.
I am intentional in telling my children of the oppression Christians face in other countries….I don’t want to shelter them from it. While there will be a day with no more tears, as the Bible promises us, we are also promised that this Christian life is not a cake walk and that we will be called to suffer with Christ. They know churches in China are mostly underground and that when Grandma and Grandpa go over there, we need to pray for their safety. They know that people in North Korea do not dare utter the name of Jesus in public for fear of death. This is the world we live in….not the world “they” or “those people” live in. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ……they are our people.
As we were puling into the driveway, I said “Yes, buddy….the people in Irag sure were brave for Jesus, weren’t they?”
My 9 year old then proceeded to say how, if that happened here, he would just kick them and punch them and knock them out so they couldn’t hurt us. Oh the beauty of innocence:-)
I have told my kids before very frankly that I would die for them. Of course I would. I have also told them that I am prepared to die for the sake and the name of Jesus. I don’t know if things will ever come to that but, today, I say to you, that is my choice.
“You never know what will happen until you’re in that situation” a friend once said to me.
No way. I understand that sentiment but, no way.
Will I be tempted to save my own life? Of course. What if they turn the gun on my kids and say denounce Jesus or die? Oh the pain the agony of that horrible choice. My heart shatters thinking of the moms and dads that just had to make that choice.
But still I say to you….the name of Jesus is more powerful than anything the devil and his schemes can throw at me. I would choose death before denouncing the only thing worth living for.

Where do I get this (absolutely crazy) resolve?

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15

If I left to my own devices I will choose the gods of comfort and complacency time and time again. I rest my hope and secure my future in the Lord because, for crying out loud, there is nothing better in this world or the next than Jesus. I’ve chosen my own way many-a-time in this life and it has brought me to the pit of despair. Praise God who rescued me from the miry bog of my sinful, selfish ways. I pray that my children, and you, my friends, see even a sliver of the goodness of our God when you look at me. Not for good that I have done…..no, I can do nothing in my own horribly weak “power”. Yet, miraculously, I can do ALL THINGS in Christ who gives my (absolutely amazing) strength.
Not by might, and not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord. –  Zechariah 4:6
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