Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 5: Listen for the Captive

I have always loved a good story.


And biographies have been some of my favorites:  Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, C.S. Lewis, and Elisabeth Elliot have been some of my best re-reads.


How about you? Do you have a favorite storyteller? 


But what happens when the Media tells us their stories so often that we forget that real stories of anguish are happening to real people
right now?





As I have been on this Journey to learn to listen better, I am finding that this perception of DESPISING carries over from myself to what others may be feeling as well.


This journey with Chronic Illness can feel like a captivity on certain days.  And it is, to some extent. The situation is beyond my control. I was placed in this lifestyle without my own consent. And there is a level of anguish and suffering that accompanies most of my days.


And I am hearing the cry of those captives around the world in ways that I did not hear before my own journey began.



The stories of those who have been held prisoner and tortured for their Faith in Christ are being told so well over at the 
Over many years, I have subscribed to their newsletters, donated to their ministry, and even prayed for those in anguish.


But did you know that every first Sunday in November is designated 
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH?


This month, as I read the stories of those who are being held captive for their Faith, my heart was broken for those the world 
DESPISES.


Maybe it's because that word is so fresh on my own mind, as a perception that needs to change, 
or maybe it's because this world is rejecting the Words of Christ at an alarming rate.  


But I want to listen to the heartbeat of my Lord.
He draws near to the needy.
And
He does not despise the ones who are being held captive. 



I think it's so easy for us to pick up perceptions from the world before we realize what it is happening. Our hearts break when we see the images scattered over the Media, but we can easily pick up that attitude of "those poor souls," and forget they are 
brothers and sisters
crying out to the same Jesus that we serve,
asking for mercy and help.


I want to prepare my heart to listen for those prayers,
to share in the load
and bear the burdens of those captive
to a lifestyle they did not choose for themselves.


Are you living in a place where you feel DESPISED?
Maybe you are feeling CAPTIVE to a situation beyond your control?
I would be glad to pray with you. Jesus wants to draw near to you in your needs.




And if you would like to learn more about The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church,  




This is Day 5 for the #Write31DaysChallenge, and my journey of #31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness. Thank you for traveling with me on this path to learn to listen with open ears.

Click here for the Series Index 


  






 

9 comments:

  1. Dear Bettie, I love how your listening extends to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, especially the persecuted church. They have issues of captivity and pain which we may never experience but need to remain mindful of and tender towards. Joining you in this:
    "I want to prepare my heart to listen for those prayers,
    to share in the load
    and bear the burdens of those captive
    to a lifestyle they did not choose for themselves"
    Yes and Amen! I used to receive issues of Voice of the Martyrs but it stopped somehow. This is a good reminder to set it up again. Thank you, sweet friend. xo <3

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    1. Dear Joy, Yes I am surprised at the way this Listening Journey is stretching my heart. I thought I was a fairly good at listening, but God is opening my heart to hear things in a new way! I'm thankful that He stirred your heart also, my friend! Hugs! xoxo

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  2. Hi Bettie,
    I'm right there with you on loving a good story! Stories are such powerful communication genres and I love CS Lewis too -- he is a genius at that! You have brought an awareness about those who suffer for their faith and I have to admit I think about them and pray for them far less than I should. Your words have struck a chord with me and I'm grateful that you shared them! xoxo

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    1. Hi Valerie, I'm so thankful that God stirred your heart through these words! We are all truly joined together in His Body, in ways we cannot see, aren't we? Thanks for stirring my heart so often with your words! xoxo

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  3. Good stuff, Bettie. Keep listening. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement David! So thankful that our Lord keeps speaking! --Blessings!

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  4. I, too, have found a new level of compassion since my own "captivity" in pain. Oh how my heart cries out for the persecuted. And also, for caregivers who give thankless hours of care to the infirmed.

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  5. I, too, have found a new level of compassion since my own "captivity" in pain. Oh how my heart cries out for the persecuted. And also, for caregivers who give thankless hours of care to the infirmed.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, isn't our God so full of Grace to us when He brings the blessing of compassion out of our suffering? And those precious caregivers bear so much as they spend their days in serving. Thank you for stirring my heart to pray for them as well today! --Blessings!

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