By Sheila S. Hudson
Forty-four years ago, I uttered “until death we do part.” I had no idea what that vow meant. I didn’t anticipate the saints God would bring into my life to help me navigate through the waters of matrimony and ministry. What they would teach me is that people don’t change, God doesn’t change, and faith takes risks.
People Are People
From Cain’s murder to the last martyr, one thing is evident. Truth angers people who are hiding something, are ashamed, or have something to lose. Sincere Christians have spent their lives ministering only to be misunderstood and perhaps murdered.
Such was the case for Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Peter Fleming—five missionaries slain in the 1950s. They were killed in an attempt to establish contact with the Auca Indians of Ecuador. Their deaths left five widows, but served as a catalyst for bringing the Auca tribe to Christ.
God Is God
Corrie Ten Boon shares her experience of God’s provision when she met a convert who had been a guard in the prison camp. In The Hiding Place she writes, “And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to love our enemies, [God] gives along with the command, the love itself.”
God remains changeless. The God Stephen proclaimed is the same God who recruited Jim Elliot, Corrie and Betsie Ten Boon, Dietrich Bonhoffer, and the Twelve.
Faith Is Risky
Giving birth is a “labor” of love. So it is with faith. Commitment brings trials. Grace is a free gift with a high cost. The Voice of the Martyrs reports more deaths due to persecution in the 20th century than in all previous ones. That alone should spur us to action. We may not be martyrs, but we may suffer subtle forms of discrimination. Whatever the price, we must be prepared to meet the challenge.
Stephen received a heavenly vision as a reward for faithfulness. What will your reward be?
Author and speaker Sheila Hudson lives with her husband, Tim, in Athens, Georgia. Follow her blog at: sheilasewellhudson.wordpress.com/.