Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Where He Leads, Will We Follow?"

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’  (Isaiah 46:10) NIV

Greetings, Songbirds!

I first came across the name of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand going on some 15 years ago. My husband and I were involved in a marriage reconciliation ministry at that time and the ministry used an excerpt from one of Pastor Wurmbrand's sermons as a beautiful illustration utilizing the marriage relationship. Let me share it with you:

“Missionary to Cannibals”
By Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Our Beloved,

As a child, a girl was brought up on stories of valiant missionaries who had worked among the savages to bring them to Christ and had been eaten by cannibals. Her prayer was, “God, help me also to become such a missionary.” It was her dream to sacrifice herself for the worst of men.

In time the dream faded. She matured, and by the age of 18, her prayer was, “God, give me a good Christian husband.” Her prayer was answered, and she was married. For six weeks she was happy with him.

Then came Pearl Harbor, and the USA entered the war. Her husband was drafted into the army and was away from her for three years. He participated in battles on the front lines. In the end, he was gravely wounded and spent a year in the hospital.

When he finally returned home, he was no longer the nice, loving husband. In the war there was drinking, swearing, womanizing. He too had fallen into those habits. One evening he came home drunk. His wife was sure he had come from another woman. Without one word for her, he fell asleep on the couch. She went into another room and prayed with tears, “God, change my husband.”

She received God's reply: “Why should I change him and not you?” “But there is nothing to change in me, I have belonged to you since early childhood.” God said, “Between you and me, there is a misunderstanding. I was always attentive to your prayers. I liked it when you offered yourself to be a missionary among the cannibals. But cannibals are scarce nowadays and far away in Africa or on some island. To ease your task, I brought a savage into your home. Be a missionary to him. I granted you a cannibal. Win him for the Kingdom.”

She went back to the other room, looked at her “cannibal”, and fell in love with him again. She decided her life's task would be to restore him as a child of God and a loving husband. It took her a long time, but she succeeded. Now they are both 90. He still brings her a flower every day to show his gratitude.

God gratifies us with difficult tasks to ennoble us. In the same way, God decided he wanted Jonah to give His word to the most rebellious. What He determines, He causes to come to pass. If Jonah would not come to Neneveh willingly, a sea monster would be used to propel him there. He spent his time in the fish's belly praying and preparing thoroughly the sermon he would have to deliver to the Ninevites. In the end he fulfilled his task, and God had mercy on Nineveh. 

Through the illustration of marriage, Pastor Wurmbrand was conveying his underlying message, which was submission to God's will in order to bring reconciliation with His creation.

There will be times when we may not like it, in fact it may get ugly and it may require sacrifice and much pain. Pastor Wurmbrand knew full well what that meant. He suffered tremendous torture and abuse by being imprisoned numerous times for his faith. But, as he said in his sermon; "What He determines, He causes to come to pass." 

I urge you to research the life of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, (if you are not already familiar with his work... such as being founder of the organization The Voice of the Martyrs) to get a better understanding of how God used him, for it would take too long for me to try and share it with you.

I leave us today, dear Songbirds with this question...are we willing to submit our will to God's to accomplish His purposes, no matter what, or allow someone else that privilege?

My prayer and my song for us all is that where He leads, we will matter the cost and no matter the circumstance.