I was folding laundry and watching Moneyball when I got this text from my husband. It's a soundbite from a call between the team and a pastor serving in Pakistan:
"Pastor Azik, are you and your family fearful? Do you need anything, are you in trouble?"
"For the Lord, whatever it is, it is. Whatever I am, I am."
I paused my movie and stared at my phone. How is perspective like that possible? What must it be like for Christians, whose commitment to Jesus puts their lives and families in danger everyday? And what the heck am I doing with my life, grumbling over things I don't have, while my brothers and sisters around the world are being persecuted, kidnapped, tortured and killed for their faith?
I bowed my head and quietly asked God to forgive my shallowness, my self-centeredness, my shortsightedness, my ungratefulness.
And God brought this verse to my mind:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Why do Christians remain devout in the midst of horrific suffering and persecution? Because they know they're not home yet. Because their treasure—their hope—is in Heaven. Because they hold the world and everything in it loosely, knowing paradise is just around the eternal corner. Because they know the things I make too important—relationships, accomplishment, beauty, money, recognition—are counterfeit happiness. And because true joy, purpose, and lasting peace are in Jesus alone.
Oh, Lord, continue to mold my heart and mind, so that one day I can pray in earnest—
For the Lord, whatever it is, it is. Whatever I am, I am.