On Feb. 11, 1973, then-Captain Jeremiah Denton returned home after years of captivity as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He made his way down the steps of the plane, stopped in front of a microphone and said, “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances.”
I wonder if this is how the believer will feel when he stands one day before God?
God entrusts to some of His servants —without explanation—the most difficult circumstances. Just look at Job, Joseph, Daniel and the early martyrs.
A young man released from an oppressive, atheistic regime was asked, “What was it like, being persecuted for your faith?”
“We thought it was the normal Christian life,” was the surprising, yet candid, reply.
He was right. It is Christians in the West who are living abnormally. Personally, I am grateful for the “abnormality.” But if it doesn’t last, we must not question, complain or become bitter. Instead let us accept each day as the Lord sends it, living obediently and faithfully and not fearing what may come. We know that the glory ahead will obliterate the grim past.
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
—2 Timothy 2:3, NKJV
Taken by permission from “Legacy of a Pack Rat,” by Ruth Bell Graham, ©1989 The Ruth Graham Literary Trust.