Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Few Good Reads

If you have followed my blog very long, you know that there are two things I love to write about...books and music.  Today is no exception.  Lately I have been drawn to biographies about real people, with real problems, that have encounters with a very real God.  I have been so blessed the past 11 years that having faith has been easy.  But I want to know what faith looks like when things are falling apart.  (And I'm quite content to learn that from other people rather than from my own experience for now!)

This first book is about two missionaries who were given a great love for the people of Afghanistan.  They left the comforts of home to live among the people, serve the poor, and offer the hope of Jesus to anyone who sought it.  The sharing of their faith led to imprisonment, which became even more complicated since it occurred during 2001 when the terrorist attacks on America and the war began. 

I decided to read this next book because I've heard it referenced many times by other authors, and I was not disappointed.  It tells the story of Corrie Ten Boom, who lived in Holland during the time of occupation by Nazi Germany.  Corrie's family was part of the underground movement to protect the Jews, and they ended up imprisoned in very bad conditions.  But the faith of Corrie and her sister Betsie are very moving.  Here are women who put the safety of others above their own, truly prayed for their persecutors, shared God's Word and love with those around them, and saw some mighty works of God as a result.  The whole time I was reading I thought "this should be a movie"...and I just is!  So I've got it reserved at the library and plan on sharing it with my husband soon :)

These two stories have shown me a few things about faith during hardship.  First, when people are suffering they hunger for God's Word...for hope.  I often take for granted how accessible the Bible is.  For them it was a precious treasure that sustained them.  I was also amazed by how many miracles these people experienced, things the world might say were "coincidence".  But when you stack so many "coincidences" together, God's presence is so very clear.  It was through the trials and the hardship that their faith and ministry grew. 

Just last week I stumbled across this song that fit with the things I've read and have been thinking about.  May it be an encouragement to those who are going through a hardship now.  I pray you find Jesus in the midst of it.