(I was reading this on the transit on my way home, and thought you might appreciate the passage, too!)
It’s a sharing from a missionary from her youth from a trips to Hungary, Czech, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
Meetings were often held in crowded apartments and barns, hidden away from the secret police; believers walk for miles to gather; some lost their jobs because of their belief, others had husbands imprisoned and children questioned.
In them and in their loud and fervent singing, the missionary saw – amidst pain, fear, and sadness for their oppression – tears of joy and hope. She asked why, and a stooped, silver-haired woman replied:
[I’m just going to quote the book now]
“When you really need there to be a heaven and when you believe in it with all your heart, you have great reason to rejoice because you know this life is so short. You count on the fact that you will live forever in a place that you were designed for from the beginning of the world. The problem is that, sometimes, you who live in the Western world have so much of heaven on earth, with all of your things and relative security and stability, that you can’t clearly see the world that is ahead. And often, I think, you don’t feel as much of a need for heaven…
The one who can clearly understand why heaven will be such a place of blessing will never demand too much of life in a world that has been separated from God. We know from the shadows of beauty we see hear that we were designed for a better place. It is for our joy in that very real fact that our hearts are full and that we sing so strongly.”
“And so, gently, Jesus began to loosen my grasp on what I wanted from this world to make me happy, to open my heart for what was ahead… Moving back to America where big houses fill almost all the cities, where things and “stuff” fill the horizon of our daily lives, and ease of life is an expectation, it becomes easy to sometimes forget the lessons of…earlier years…
For me, the lessons came through the details of my life story; those unanswerable issues that find no solution… [God] gently broke my dependence on those things that could never satisfy…
I learned to let go of temporal things more quickly, and the joy of just living and beingwith him through moments of my days became more real.
I am learning to savor each moment as one in which I can learn, grown, and love him even more.”
Look up. 🙂