So I have been thinking about some things that I heard recently. I wanted to share them with you and maybe wrestle through them at the same time. The other night I had the extreme privilege to hear from a woman named Dr. Margaret Nikol. She is originally from communist Bulgaria and immigrated to the US in 1981 with her son under a program that Ronald Reagan started. She was the daughter of two seminary grads...her dad became a pastor and her mom would encourage the congregation when her dad was imprisoned. The communist government came and took all of the Bibles away during a sweep of the country. One old woman in the congregation put hers under her skirt and sat on it while the soldiers were upheaving her home. The following Sunday, she was the only one left with a Bible and ended up ripping the pages out and distributing them among the congregation. Margaret was 12 and ended up with the page that had the Genesis account of Abraham and Sarah. For 25 years she only had this one page of the Bible! 25 years! One page!
Dr. Nikol's mother was arrested and then returned to the home with poison injected in her so that the family could witness her death. Six months later, her dad was killed by the authorities as well. Margaret and her brother, Stephen, were left alone. Stephen ended up becoming a pastor and was killed also! Margaret married, had a son, and soon after her husband died.
When Margaret immigrated, she and her son were the only ones left of her whole family. She now lives in Houston area and started a ministry. She is a world class violinist...in fact she has four doctorates...violin, organ, piano, and musicology. All obtained by the grace of God in communist universities...many the best in the world for her disciplines.
I have been pondering how I would react to her life if it were mine. Would I remain true to God? Would I persevere knowing that whatever this life brings is allowed by God and for my good and His glory? We wept as Dr. Nikol spoke of the contrast of having one page of the Bible for 25 years, her mother injected with poison, her father imprisoned numerous times and then killed, against our problems of daily life both in and out of the church.
Was there too much traffic today that made you frustrated? Did your child throw a tantrum in public? Was there disobedience that angered you? Are the finances tight and not enough to completely cover the bills this month? What are the things that we allow to put up a wall between us and our Savior? She lived on one page of the Bible for 25 years! She watched her mother die! She was orphaned at the age of 14!
Let's get our eyes off of our petty issues and look into the face of God to see His mercy and grace and be received into His arms of love!