I started reading a book a few days ago that I will never finish. Not because it was too boring, or that the print was too fine, but it was too awful. It is about the Christians who were persecuted to the uttermost during the Early Ages. God knew that would happen, and prepared a wonderful place of safety for them. Not far from Judea were all the turmoil began, lay the Alps and from a distance they seemed like mighty walls of a fortress. Among these mountains lay seven lush and verdant valleys that were nigh on impenetrable. For a time.
The Devil was fiercely determined to eradicate every single one of Christ's followers and as the ages rolled on, he convinced evil men to resort to extreme cruelty to destroy men, women and children alike. For one or two to suffer like that from time to time, is one thing, but this was ongoing, generation after generation. Those Romish soldiers and others faced much exhaustion and danger to penetrate these valleys, but the evil zeal in their hearts egged them on.
It's a profound testimony to the power of Jesus that the Christians didn't disappear entirely.
But that is not the end. It cuts my heart to the quick when I'm reminded that “we” are among the three percent of the most privileged on the face of the earth. “We” are not being persecuted. “We” are not poverty stricken, or ravished by war or famine, and yet “we” complain. Sometimes I wonder if I am worthy to be called a sister of those who suffered in earlier times. I want to be worthy. I want to be more worthy. We do have a wonderful Saviour who is worth dying for, but He is also worth living for. I would like the light of the gospel to penetrate the darkest corners of the earth. It is a message of hope and salvation. It brings joy and peace. It helps us to love one another. Even our enemies. Even today many are suffering for their faith. Do they know that we care? Do they know that we are praying for them? Our forefathers passed the torch on to us. Are we holding it high?