Safe Trees to Sleep In

Therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 2:3

      A friend of mine who is a pastor related this story to me. He was at a pastor’s conference when the speaker invited everyone in the audience to pray for one another.
      Two well dressed pastors from an affluent church in the south approached a visiting pastor from Asia.
      “What would you like us to pray for?” the pastors asked.
      “Please pray that I will have safe trees to sleep in.”
      His request startled the pastors. “Why do you sleep in trees?”
      The pastor from Asia explained that he ministered in an area where Muslims were predominant and he had to sleep away from people where it was safe or the Muslims would kill him. If he stayed with the people he was ministering to then they’d be in danger of being killed by the Muslims so he slept in the trees. One night he woke up to find that a large python had wrapped itself around him and was squeezing him to death. He cried out to Jesus and he was able to miraculously free himself from the snake.
      “So please pray for safe trees for me to sleep in.”
      Suddenly confronted with the reality of a whole other realm of service, one of the other pastors mumbled numbly, “I need a five star hotel with room service.”
      We get so spoiled sometimes here in the United States, don’t we? We forget that we have been admonished to endure hardness for the Gospel’s sake, and we must not forget that there are those who endure great tribulations while following the call to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
      Lord, when it gets hard, help us not to complain and help us to remember to pray for those who need safe trees to sleep in.

copyright 2006 by H.D. Shively

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