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Friday, April 8, 2016

Inspired by . . . Psalm 128

A Song of Ascents. Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children's children! Peace be upon Israel!  (Psa 128:1-6)

His name is Mohammed.

He, along with his wife and six children live in a tent in a refugee camp. They were forced to leave their home in Mosul, Iraq, when the enemy invaded in June of 2014.

Mohammed is a Christian. In 2005, Jesus appeared to him in a dream and he believed. His wife did not, until three months later when she had the exact same dream. She saw Jesus and believed.

Their picture tells a story. All, except the wife, are clothed in western garb. The name of a popular running shoe peeks out from below Mohammed's jacket, and the cartoon characters from the last decade adorn the kid's shirts and hats. These western idols appear in stark contrast to the sandy ground and makeshift tents in the background.

Mohammed's wife cradles one of the children. The toddler's leg is bandaged from thigh to toes and Mohammed holds a bottle of fluid that is attached to the child. The rest of the children are smiling, save one, and the youngest holds up a small wooden cross.

You can see peace on the face of Mohammed and his wife. If you look closer, you can see lines around Mohammed's eyes, crows feet we call them. Despite his circumstances, this man has known JOY.

Now, in the refugee camp, Mohammed leads worship services for local Christians and Muslims who are interested in learning about God. He and his family experience continual persecution from their Muslim neighbors. He knows that he could be a target of extremists at any time. He chooses to serve, knowing that His life is in God's hands.

When I look at this picture of Mohammed and his family I see none of what we in this country would call a blessing. Even the children, six mouths to feed, must surely be a burden in this situation.

As I meditated on Psalm 128 this week the picture of Mohammed and his family kept returning to my mind. Their lives are far from ideal, even by their eastern standard of living. They are worlds apart from what we expect {and demand} in our western culture.

Yet, God is showing me that they are a beautiful example of the truths of Psalm 128. 
"Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD."
I can't know for sure, of course, but if I had to guess, I would say that Mohammed would tell you, "It is well with my soul."

Can we say the same?


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June