God calls us all to give up everything for him. We must stop and think about what that means, though. Everything. That includes money, friends, acceptance, and our comfort. But what if you were faced with the decision to deny Christ or give up your child? What would you do?
Magda, one of our Iran Bible College students, was faced with this terrible decision. Magda’s husband, who claimed to be a Christian when they were married but later revealed that he was Muslim, took their two-year-old daughter away one night and never returned. In Iranian law, if one parent is Muslim and the other Christian, the Muslim parent automatically receives custody of the child. Magda was told that she could have her daughter back if she would only deny Christ.
Magda stood firm in her faith and declared that she would never renounce her faith. That was years ago. Magda has not seen her daughter since she was taken and has only been able to talk to her on the phone.
Magda fell into depression. She spent days weeping for her loss. God came to Magda in her darkest time through the encouragement of her own mother. She told Magda: “I want to tell you something. When you trusted God in the court and did not deny Jesus, God was with you. He is also with you now and has not abandoned you. Put your trust in Him and, like Moses’ mother did, commit your daughter to the caring hands of God. He will take care of your daughter and will guide her in the river of life, and one day He will bring her back to you.”
Magda’s heart was changed. She began working with orphans and is now a mother to many children who have no parents at all. “God gave me a chance to rediscover myself and my talents,” she says. “Most important of all, He put songs of joy and gratitude on my lips, things that had been absent from my lips for a long time.”
Rashin faced a similar loss in her life. Her father, a prominent Iranian pastor in the early 90’s, was martyred for his faith. Watch the video below, provided by our partners at Elam Ministries, to hear the story of how she wrote out entire books of the Bible by hand and gave them away to perfect strangers.
The call to follow Christ is not an easy one. Let’s contemplate what we are called to give up in order to gain the Kingdom of God.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27).