Mike Schrage, Executive Director
Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant in Mark 9:49 when He said, “Everyone will be salted with fire”?
I recently visited North Africa where believers are few, and those who do follow suffer in a plethora of ways. You can walk through the cemeteries of hundreds who have died for their faith, such as those who were used as bait in the arena, or listen to stories about thousands of children sacrificed to false gods. Those were horribly trying times, and it still happens today.
However, there are other types of fire. What if you are a mother of three beautiful daughters with hopes of attending college, a happy marriage, great relationships with extended family, nice cars, and good jobs? Then one day the Truth comes. You have to make a choice to keep the status quo and enjoy the current life, or take the risk and announce to all that you follow the Messiah.
The costs are real. Your husband will divorce you, your daughters will disown you, your mother will feel shame for not raising her daughter well. The job will be gone. There will be no intimacy, no diplomacy, and no legacy. Only day after day of shame, poverty, and loneliness.
Relatives hope the pressure will make this woman crumble. Yet somewhere from within she finds the fortitude and strength to endure, not only endure, but also to pray for her family who persecuted her. Mother dies, and she cannot attend the funeral. The daughters graduate, and she can only see them for a few minutes for fear of losing visiting rights altogether.
Yes, everyone will be salted by fire. Anything I’ve thought was tough pales in comparison to the stories of martyrs or this sister in Christ. I pray God will enable her to stay the course of faithfulness in her home, village, and country.