I KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
— Psalm 31:7 (NIV)
Yesterday we read of the faith of Bahar from Central Asia. Pregnant with her sixth child, she lost her husband, Bahtiyar, to cancer. But the Muslims would not allow her to bury him in the town. She continues her story:
“We were all desperately trying to find a solution. In neighboring Kisul, a plot of land had been given to the Christians to be used as cemetery, so the believers started to dig a grave. Before they had finished, a crowd of people arrived on horseback and in a truck. Three mullahs, many young men, even women and people from the village administration, were shouting and threatening the believers. The atmosphere was grim and the believers had to leave the area to escape a beating.
“We were not able to bury my husband that day. The next day the believers secretly took his body and took it to a completely different place, much farther away from our village and buried him there at a Christian cemetery.
“Bahtiyar’s mother, with her addiction to alcohol, was targeted as the channel to put pressure on the family. She is seventy and not a believer in Christ. The Mullah convinced her that the family was a shame and blemish on the village and that she had to kick her daughter-in-law out of her house. She was very angry and told them to leave. She no longer even wanted to see her own grandchildren.”
During the months that the family were trying to find a solution for their situation, they got a visit from a pastor who lives in the capital city. He had heard about their situation and inquired how they were going to live.
“How? I don’t know! But one thing I know that God will not abandon us! He promised that in His Word and He is true to His Word. I think the pastor was touched by our situation; he started to help us and several other believers as well. They offered us a house in a nearby town. We were thrilled and we moved. Now we have our own place, with a small garden to grow vegetables. There will always be plenty of needs for the kids, but I have seen that God is faithful.
“When my little son was born I was so happy! Even though my husband is no longer with us, we make an effort to stay close as a family. The youngest ones do not realize yet that their dad has died; they think he has gone on a trip. We have not been able to visit the grave as we don’t have a car to go the cemetery.
“I don’t know what the future holds for us, but God is taking care of us. Thank you for praying for us. Pray also for the other families of believers who are still in the village and face hostility every day. Please pray for my mother in law; I would like to see the relationship restored, so that she can enjoy her grandchildren!”
RESPONSE: Though I also do not know what the future holds, I will trust in Him who holds the future!
PRAYER: Continue to pray for Bahar and her family, especially reconciliation with her mother-in-law.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.