Take Heart

Jahar has so much weighing on him right now that it’s difficult to even fathom what he must be going through.  Troubles: He’s got plenty of those.  He’s likely in prison for the rest of his life.  He’s lost his friends…..his freedom…..his future.  Tears: When Jahar woke up in the hospital, the media reported that he cried for days.  I can’t imagine that much has changed, living in solitary confinement daily.  Failure: While I don’t know if Jahar feels like a failure because of what he did, I am sure he feels like a failure for a whole host of reasons.  Fear: I imagine with the possibility of the death penalty staring you in the face, you might be pretty scared.  Scared of death…..of what that might feel like, of all of the botched executions happening, of what awaits him after death.  Or maybe even scared of NOT receiving the death penalty and of having to live his entire life in prison.  Scared of other inmates……of guards……of whatever he faces in that prison.  Scared of what the future holds.  When Jahar considers coming to Christ – he may feel fear surrounding the reaction of his family and if he will lose them.  Heartache:  I imagine his heart hurts for so many reasons………at the loss of his brother……at possibly never getting to see his parents again…….at missing his nieces and nephews.  I pray that one day his heart aches when he thinks about the lives he took and the pain he caused so many people.  Pain: Physical pain from his injuries that night in the boat.  Emotional pain caused by the torture of solitary confinement.  Burdens: I imagine Jahar is feeling pretty burdened right now……….and I pray that even worsens as he realizes the full magnitude of what he did.  Shame: I don’t know if he’s feeling any of that right now…..but I trust that one day he will.

As someone God has called to pray Jahar into His kingdom, I often find myself reflecting on all of that and almost physically feeling some of that myself.  It can be disheartening to feel all of that trouble, heartache, and pain.  I’m just downright scared for him sometimes.  Once in a while, it moves me to tears.  The worst part is knowing that anything I feel is only the tiniest fraction of what Jahar is feeling.  Does he deserve it?  Yeah, I guess he does.  But then again, we are all sinners who, without Christ, deserve to feel all of that.  The good news is that we don’t have to, and neither does Jahar.

Jesus is light in the darkest places.  If there is hope should oceans rise and mountains fall, there is certainly hope for the worst sinners.  He bears the scars of our freedom – He suffered and died so that His people, even people like Jahar – can be truly free despite their earthly circumstances.  We don’t need to be afraid for Jahar, because God has a plan for him – and in His name, all our fears are swept away.

God is our hope….our love…..our healer….and our freedom.  Without Jesus, Jahar is hopeless…..practically loveless…..in pain…..and bound.  But I can’t help but smile when I think that with Him……despite living in the worst of circumstances…..Jahar can be completely healed…..full of love, hope, and joy…..and completely free, even in prison.

Take heart, my brothers and sisters.  He has overcome the failures, fears, heartaches, pain, burdens, and shame of the entire world.  He can certainly overcome Jahar’s.

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7 Responses to Take Heart

  1. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    Lynn! Where have you been all my life? I’ve missed you! How are you doing?

    • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

      That’s such a crazy story about your financial blessing. I love how God does stuff like that….it just shows that He is in control. You are so right that what God wills to happen WILL happen. We serve an amazing God who is sovereign and stronger than anything that could ever try to stand against Him. “I Hate Him” was Bri’s entry – but I think in a case like this, it has to be a combination. He has to feel Jesus’s love and fall deeply in love with Him right back – but right now, if he’s clinging to Islam – he still thinks that what he did was following Allah and is going to get him into Jannah – so he does need to realize that it was in fact sin…….that there is no God who would ever desire you to kill innocent people in His name…..that what he did tore him farther away from God……but that there is a way back.

      • Bri says:

        Yeah, if you don’t know you’re sick, you’ll never accept the cure. He needs to know he’s a sinner in need of a Savior, and then and only then will the cross and the grace, mercy, and love poured out there make sense.

  2. Bri says:

    I think of another “Take Heart” (this one by The City Harmonic”). The chorus goes:

    “Moments come and moments fade
    But Your unending love remains
    It might be dark but I’m not afraid
    Dawn’s about to break:
    Take heart”

    Dawn will break. God will bring him out into His marvelous light.

    Looking at the lyrics, I just latched onto this:

    “And I am a child of God:
    Free in name, not free from pain”

    That’s why he can be free even while not being physically free. There’s a freedom in Christ that transcends every circumstance.

    • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

      I had never heard that song before, so I just downloaded it. In “My Friends on Death Row” that I’m currently reading, one of the letters says: “A prisoner asked me the other day, “How can you walk around so happy being on death row?” I answered, “I’m a believer.” Then I just walked away. There was no need to say anything else.” One day Jahar will be completely free and filled with so much joy at being God’s child….no matter what circumstances he is in. I want that for him NOW – but I trust that that day will come.

  3. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    I get chills just thinking about Jesus talking to Jahar and loving him through everything he is going through. I hope you’re right that it has happened already, but I know that it will. I love how you said you just had to experience His love and His presence and that you were instantly His because that is my prayer for Jahar……that he would experience His love, His presence, His healing, the hope that He offers, His mercy and grace…..and that he wouldn’t be able to do anything but fall at His feet and worship Him. Even though I don’t know the intricacy of God’s plans – and even though I know it may be a process – I want so badly for Jahar to be “instantly His.”

  4. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    I used to believe all of that. Now I have a lot more doubts. But I hope that you’re right. Either way – the truly amazing thing is that it doesn’t matter if Jahar is completely broken inside over the bombings or if he’s proud of himself and thinks he did the right thing…..Jesus can meet him where he is and win his heart either way.

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