I had an amazing experience recently.
I got to spend the day with an exiled Chinese pastor who’s been tortured, imprisoned, beaten and subjected to mock executions.
All for believing in Jesus.
Throughout the day, I heard stories of people meeting Jesus in the most unreached places in the world, ancient communities in the Middle East, rural areas in North Korea, places where missionaries go, literally on a ‘suicide mission’. They’re not there to kill or harm anyone else, they just understand that by going, there’s a possibility they may not be coming back.
At the end of the meeting, this lovely man of God prayed in his own language, a fervent, almost teary prayer. He stood up, hands raised and although at first I didn’t understand anything he said, it was like my spirit did. I knew he was connecting with the same Jesus I know.
The difference? He’d met and called on Jesus while dodging bullets, running as a fugitive, having his bones broken and going without food for days on end.
I looked at my ‘brother in Christ’ and realised that we are connected worldwide, by a vast unseen army of believers who love Jesus.
We worship Him in a hundred different ways, we have different traditions, cultures and we most definitely don’t look the same, but one single name unites people who, under different circumstances, would not have anything in common.
One word, one name, one story, connecting millions of people, over oceans and continents, together under one sky.
It made me realise that we don’t have to be afraid. Watching the news and the political unsettling and Earth shaking, can make us fear for our lives, our world, our future.
But when you see the hand of God reaching across continents to bring people together, we have nothing to fear. The same God who unites radically different cultures, who enables missionaries to work undetected in dangerous countries and who allows Bibles to pass security checkpoints unseen, is also (I reckon) more than able to keep an eye on you and me too.
There is more good happening in the world than we will ever know (or that our papers will ever report). More amazing people using technology to reach ‘unreachable’ people, more secret believers, more people being changed than we ever thought possible.
We have no reason to be afraid.
God is at work in ways we can’t see, but He’s still at work.
Don’t be afraid.