I recently posted a blog about intentionally placing visual reminders around my home that will keep my heart turned toward Christ. A dear friend of mine, who no longer lives in this country, sent me the response I’m sharing with you below. There are many things Sandra did not include that she could’ve shared with you, like the frequent interruptions of electricity (sometimes for weeks at a time), and the fact that she and her children cannot leave their home unescorted because of the dangerous conditions.
With her permission, I’m posting “a visit to her home.” But as you read, I hope you’ll pray for her and other believers like her who are living in hostile areas and experiencing daily opposition to the gospel.
This is what we might see and experience if we dropped by Sandra’s home:
I’ve not deliberately placed many decorative things in my overseas home to aid in bringing my mind to Christ, but there are some things that I see or hear daily that I’m training my mind to use as signals for me to pause and turn my heart toward Him in worship or petition.
Right across the street from our home is a mosque. If you came for a visit, many times every day—from early morning until late evening—you would hear the call to prayer blasting over the speakers from that mosque (and others in the neighborhood and all across the city).
When I hear the Mosque’s call for prayer, I use it as a prompt to bow my heart, thank Jesus for his compassion for sinful man and pray for the salvation of the unbelievers around me and in my family.
In the early afternoons you would hear the tailor coming down the street. Carrying his sewing machine on his head, he clanks his large metal scissors as a signal for folks to come out and bring their items needing mending or alteration.
When I hear the tailor coming, my heart is cued to bow and thank Jesus for clothing me in His robe of righteousness.
In the corner of our yard, near the front gate, you would see a small mound of charcoal and ashes where our guard boils his tea throughout the day. My plea when I see that messy pile of ashes is that God would bring beauty from the ashes in my own life.
How thankful I am that He is a redeeming God!
When you entered our living room, you would see a plaque which was given to me by a friend soon after I came to faith in Christ. The words are from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” That verse, and the entire chapter, has been a stabilizing passage through some difficult times. When I see it displayed, I am comforted and reminded that He is in control and in Him is safety, peace, and security.
If I will stop to ponder who He is, my response can only be to bow my heart and worship.
On the refrigerator are usually a few handwritten verses. I observed a few years ago, that if I posted a passage on the refrigerator and left it a month or so, my daughters would have the passage memorized. I did not have to draw attention to it or drill it—just make it visible.
I cannot help but thank God for the tremendous privilege—especially as females—to be able to, not only own Scriptures in my language and be permitted to display God’s word, but also to have the privilege of learning to read it.
As I watch my daughter’s eyes go to the displayed verses, my heart is thankful they have that privilege. But my heart is also heavy for the women and girls in this country, and around the world, who are not able to have the opportunity to read and know Scripture.
I cannot help but wonder at Jesus who showed compassion on the women in His day—and still today He invites women to know Him. I want the women here to know this Jesus!
In the hallway near the side door you would notice a black, carry-on sized bag. It’s always there—packed with all our important documents: passports, birth certificates, medical papers, financial documents, etc. We call it our “Go Bag.” It is ready should the security situation in this country warrant an immediate evacuation.
The existence of this bag, and the need for it, has been a source of fear for me.
Lately, though, I have been disciplining my mind to use it as a prompt to turn my thoughts toward Him. Our “Go Bag” reminds me that He alone is my refuge and He is sovereign. It reminds me that though we are currently living in a world full of sin and strife, all of that will end when Jesus returns.
I just can’t wait to meet Him face to face.