You know how sometimes you meet someone and your heart longs to lift the burden, to help them carry the load? That’s Naila. This young 21-year old woman has already experienced so much in life. The hope she has in Jesus Christ is evident and real, but the weight of the last few years has been heavy.
There is joy, and peace, but also heartache in her eyes. There is so much love in her hugs, as she quietly and graciously shares some of her story. Naila recently married Zohaib. Not long after their wedding, they had to flee their home as a result of the war. They spent months driving from city to city hoping to find a safe place. Eventually they ended up in a different country. Zohaib absconded from the army, so returning to their initial country is not an option. They have both found jobs in their new city, to provide for them and their newborn son. About the time of their son’s birth, Naila found Jesus. She understands God’s grace in all its truth and put her faith in Christ. She is a new creation in Him. She testifies that now there is joy and hope instead of only sadness and pain. She has gained a new perspective amid severe trial, and Zohaib has noticed. She attends church and connects with other believers who help her grow in faith. Zohaib is not opposed to Jesus, and willingly follows Naila to church (and the Ananias House training where we met them). But Naila longs for her husband’s faith to be his own, for him to love Jesus as she does, and to lead their family to follow Him. She prays and hopes and waits on the Lord.
God gave Naila a vision. She was sleeping and when she woke up she saw people dressed in white all around her and she could hear voices. She felt in her heart that Jesus was there, but she didn’t see Him. She wants to know the meaning of this. Why didn’t she see Jesus? The Lord led us to His word through Peter “to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered.” His word to Naila.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9
The Lord has entrusted this young woman with much. She faithfully follows Him with joy, receiving the goal of her faith: the salvation of her soul. Amen.
*Names and Places have been changed for security reasons.