Living Behind a Bookcase
The trip has been great, thus far, BUT there was a major delay involved. Delta got a late launch from Detroit to Amsterdam and we landed with just 20 minutes to de-plane, run to the next gate, and get there in time to see it push back with everyone of our team on the plane but me. Stuck in Amsterdam for 12 additional hours.
SO, I headed downtown and got a chance to walk through the Anne Frank House. You probably remember, but she was the young girl who went into hiding when the Nazi’s invaded the Netherlands. Along with her family and another family, 8 people shared an 800 square foot space hidden behind a bookcase. I wish I could show you a picture… it’s amazingly small!!
We tend to think things like that don’t happen anymore. But they do. Iran kills Christians who left Islam to follow Jesus. China is fine with Christians… as long as they don’t speak (at all!) about Jesus. And even in some denominations in the US you can face persecution (albeit mild) for being faithful to the Gospel.
One author says, “If God wills to bring in his kingdom through the preaching of the gospel, then all of us who own that gospel stand in the front line of battle. We must never underestimate the foe.” That quote is from Graeme Goldsworthy’s book, “Gospel in Revelation” in which he spells out the ways Jesus meets us at the end of all time to welcome us home.
We, indeed, are on the front lines. And we have to ask, “Am I willing to live behind a bookcase… or am I willing to act like I don’t know Jesus”. At the end of the day, I’m not sure I’m faithful enough to stand up for Jesus (no one really knows what they will do in trials)… but I’m glad to know the One who was willing to lie down his life for me!
And, here’s the even better part. If we ever do have to suffer, we can rest in the fact that suffering is not without benefit… and more importantly… not without end. After all, we follow the one who got up from the grave… the one who emerged from behind a boulder bigger than a bookcase… and gives us faith in the Resurrection as the first fruits of the end of all suffering.
What a great way to start thinking through the book of Daniel and Revelation!