Thursday, March 29, 2007

Solitary Confinement

I have been thinking a lot about prisons again recently. A strange topic I know, but it has come about by accident really as i’ve happened to read several things relating to it. I’ve been reading the book ‘Sermons in Solitary Confinement’ by Richard Wurmbrand… I picked it off the shelf randomly yesterday but am finding it very interesting. He spent 14 years in jail under the Communists; 3 of which were in complete solitary confinement. He was underground and couldn’t see the sun or stars or flowers or birds or even another person, except the guards that tortured him. I was thinking about how pathetic the statement I made on one of my prior posts was. I wrote that I have to a tiny degree felt ‘imprisoned’….. yet I’ve not ‘really’ been imprisoned at all… i know nothing of imprisonment like he did. I know nothing of real suffering. I know nothing of what it is to be locked in complete darkness with no-one around and no visual or auditory stimulation. I know nothing of what it is to be severely tortured just for believing in God.
I was thinking how pathetic it is that half the analogies I make on here are related to things I ‘see’ or ‘hear’, when God is so, so much more than that. Richard Wurmbrand had no pictures to look at, no birds to hear sing, no people sending him cards or popping round for cups of tea. I have been greatly blessed with such things… and know that God works through such means and can be seen in them… and I am extremely grateful for that. But at the same time, if you have nothing to look at, no-one to talk to, nothing to hear or read, then still God is God and still God can sustain you and still God is with you.
I was thinking how amazing it is that this guy endured so much and came out still trusting God. Such circumstances would be enough to drive anyone insane. But the reality is there are 1000’s of Christians imprisoned and persecuted for their faith even now… and they don’t go insane… they endure and they rejoice and they come out still trusting God. What an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness that is. The presence of God Himself sustains them. There is no other way. I don’t know how I’d react in such a situation… naturally I would go insane…. i don’t know how I’d endure torturing and beating…. naturally I know I couldn’t. The fact that some Christians do endure this, such as those I’ve been reading about, is surely only greater evidence of God’s grace and God’s reality (not that further evidence is even needed.)

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