May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had…
~ Romans 15:5 (NIV)
Zinaida Vilchinskaya was a grandmother at the time she was arrested in the Soviet Union while carrying Christian literature. She shares a poignant episode of how one believer can encourage another in endurance during difficult circumstances:
When the police first took me to the police station, I was put in a very cold cell with bare iron bunks. The guards took my scarf and my coat, and I lay on the bunk in just a dress. I was shivering, and I started to pray. When my cellmate saw me pray, she, too, got on her knees and said, “Oh, I can’t stand it. I’m freezing too.” She started to cry softly.
“Lord,” I prayed, “if You want me to be frozen here, may Your will be done; just enable me to endure this with love, submission, and meekness. But You can help me. You can even take me out of here if that’s Your will.”
I lay back down and felt such warmth. I told the other woman, “Here, let me put my arm around you, and you’ll get warmer.” We warmed up together. Later when they transferred us to different cells, she told everyone in hers, “God warmed up Aunt Zhenya (as they called me) in our cell, and she warmed me up.”
RESPONSE: Today I will seek to find ways to encourage others going through the same challenges I have faced.
PRAYER: Lord, give me the mind of Jesus toward others in order that Your endurance and encouragement may flow through me.