Where was the place the righteous run to and are safe, according to Proverbs 18:12? We pray for safety, for help on icy roads, for health and healing and hope that so many of the verses of Scripture seem to promise, as well we should. But what happens when senseless tragedy strikes anyway? Doesn’t God’s word work?
What happens when men kneel, lined and tied, heads bowed heavy with last thoughts of life lived this side of eternity, while evil stands behind, blade ready to flaunt the power of the covered coward? Does grace abound?
Do martyrs see what Stephen saw—“the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” Does the Holy Spirit fill them so they can say, “Lord, do not hold this against them”?
I can hardly find the place in my heart to say it now, here, safe and sound at my desk.
I don’t know what the martyred see. Many may just face death in the firmness of faith that that they lived by. “Blessed are those who haven’t seen but have believed.”
Recently I saw a prayer request from a pastor in the persecuted church who said rather than praying for their safety and well-being, to pray for the grace for them to be faithful witnesses right to the end—even if at the edge of a knife.
I’d like to pray an Elisha prayer for someone facing persecution today—“O Lord open his eyes that he may see…” chariots, and angels, and Jesus high and lifted up. And if the eyes of the deceived death-wielding cloaked one would be opened and he too would see that glory—well all the better, because I know he is not the real enemy.
For the families of the slain, and the front-liners and the captives.
And for anyone who needs strength today—may God give you the grace to see past the cage or the blade or the fire and straight into that place of glory—straight into that high tower the righteous will indeed run into and be safe.