"God Is Bigger Than My Grief"
January 10, 2014
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Today's international devotion was written by Mrs. Naomi of Indonesia. A widow, a mother, a daughter, who is rejected by her family, Naomi shares her story and how the Lord used the Lutheran Hour Ministries office to touch her life.
NOTE: To protect Naomi from Islamic reprisals we have changed her name and personal information in this devotion. Pastor Klaus
My birth name was not Naomi, but when I became a Christian, I changed it to that Bible name. When my husband died two years ago, I was left with two children. I was born and raised by a family who were devoted to Islam. My father was Arabian in descent, and my mother was a Javanese. I was raised in a strict Islamic home.
One day I met a young man who came from another community. He was a Christian. Soon I was in a relationship with him. During our relationship I tried to deepen my faith and knowledge of Islam: my religion. I joined a Qur'an recitation club, majelis taqlim, and other organizations. Finally, we were married. After a while my husband gave me a Bible and a book of Christian spiritual songs. I refused, but he forced me, threatened me, and even did not hesitate to hit me. I was confused about what had happened to him. Why had he become such a strange person?
Finally, he left me.
Deeply sad and frustrated, I went back to my family. Even there I wondered how could Allah let bad things happen to me? I always try to do my best as my faith taught me. I had even tried to convert my husband. I was shaken.
Not too long after that, I saw my husband again. Somehow I ended up taking him back. I told him what had happened when we were separated, how he had hurt me badly and deeply. He apologized and promised it would never happen again. He asked me to come to the church with him, but I wasn't ready.
One day I met a man who was teaching the Equipping the Saints program from LHM-Indonesia. He was a dignified-looking man and kind also. He had sympathy when he listened to my fears about Jesus.
He shared with me about how God always loves people and how that love was shown in Jesus who gave Himself up for us on the cross. He told me how Jesus wished to save us from our sins and how eternal life and salvation would become ours if He became our Savior.
And then, suddenly, I believed.
God had had His own plan to bring back my husband to me! I knew for sure God loved me very much also and wanted me to follow Him. Then I asked my husband to bring me to the church to be baptized. I was baptized and became a member in the GPIB, the West Indonesian Protestant Church in West Java.
When my family found out I had become a Christian, they firmly rejected me. They said I had become an apostate and an infidel. It is a painful thing to experience. Still, Jesus is bigger than my grief! That being said I will continue to cling to Jesus who has atoned for my sins. I will hold fast and let the Lord use me as a tool and reach out to others who are not yet saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord full of mercy, I thank You for all You have done in my life, for the many good things You have given to me. Please keep me and my family, so we can also be blessings to many people around us. In Jesus, our true Savior, I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: The ministry center of Lutheran Hour Ministries-Indonesia is known in-country as Anchor of Life. It utilizes radio broadcasting, print resources, and trained volunteers to connect with the citizens of Indonesia. Personal outreach takes place as individuals share the love, compassion and forgiveness of Christ, building meaningful relationships with non-Christian neighbors and others in their communities. With its headquarters in Jakarta, this ministry center uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) materials to share the Good News of God's grace and love, as found in Jesus Christ, with the people who live in this vast archipelago of islands. You can check out their blog at lhmindonesia.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries