Lessons from Facing the Firing Squad

Imagine that you live in a time and place where Christianity is illegal.

You face a firing squad as your executioners give you one more chance to deny Christ and save your life.

Cold and cruel eyes stare at you. Dirty gun barrels aim your way.

What emotions would you be feeling? What thoughts would be running through your mind? What prayers would be upon your lips?

I Would Need Him

There’s a part of me – a proud, macho part – that wishes I’d be the bold and strong hero from action movies. But I know my selfish bravado would ultimately let me down.

In this moment, I would need God to give me peace.

Sure, it’d be nice for him to save my life. But moreover, my prayer would be for strength to stand strong and for peace to enable me to glorify him in this time.

Faithful to Give Me Strength

I don’t know what the executioners would do. I don’t even know the specific way this situation would work out.

But I know that God would be faithful to give me whatever strength and peace I needed.

And I wouldn’t think twice about crying out to him in these moments. Lord, give me strength! Give me peace!

What about the Mundane?

So why do we look at Monday morning differently? What prayers are upon our lips then?

How can I trust God to give me strength when the rifles are aimed at me, but I can’t trust God to give me the strength to overcome my procrastination?

How can I trust God to give me peace when my life is on the line, but I lose sleep at the thought of my seemingly insurmountable to-do list?

Why will I face a firing squad rather than deny Christ, but I live on Wednesday afternoon as if he isn’t a real and present help to me?

Always Ready to Enable

It’s not God that is forgetting about me until my life is on the line. I’m the one forgetting about God.

He doesn’t wait until my darkest hour to start working. I wait until then before asking him to work.

How desperately would we pray when a firing squad is preparing to murder us? Can we pray that fervently for his enabling presence when we walk in the office tomorrow morning?

Photo Credit: Kyle Post (Creative Commons)

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