(This fictional story is based on real events)
| · This article was written before the Libyan uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.
Rashid sits looking out over the Mediterranean. At his back is the Sahara Desert. His five children are playing happily while his wife tidies up the barbecue. Rashid is worried. He normally enjoys barbecues in the warm spring weather, talking with his friends, drinking mint tea and relaxing after a hard week.
This week was particularly difficult as a new law is requiring businesses like his to re-register, meaning hours in queues, and Rashid is unsure if he has correctly understood the new law. Progressive methods are new for his country, where corruption and favouritism have often meant the abundant oil wealth has not benefited the common people. A training trip to Europe had shocked Rashid — the buildings and roads, indeed everything, seemed to be constantly repaired, not left to crumble as in his country.
But none of this is why Rashid is worried. The physical environment is not important — what Allah wants will happen anyway. Rashid knows his name means Rightly Guided. He is proud to think of himself as one on the right path. Of course, one can never be sure with Allah, but Rashid is pretty confident that he is doing everything Allah wants: he prays, fasts, pays the tax, and at every opportunity he declares his faith in Allah. In a year or two he should be able to pay to go to Mecca.
His Guilt Trip
But as he thinks back to his trip to Europe, and in particular one of his European teachers, all this certainty is clouded. The teacher hadn’t lived as Rashid had expected, and he told Rashid in one of their many conversations over tea that he believed that God was not primarily interested in what we did but in our acceptance of what he had done through the Messiah! He seemed to be certain that he would live with God when he died! How could that be? He had suggested to Rashid that he watch an Arabic TV station. To be polite, Rashid had taken the details. Now at home he couldn’t stop thinking about it, and finally, late one night when no one would see him, he found the channel and guiltily watched a few minutes, terrified of being found out.
Now Rashid has a bigger problem. The message attracts him, but for him it is all wrong. He has thought since childhood that Christians believe in three gods, that the original books of Jesus, Moses and David have been lost and/or changed by the Jews and Christians. How could this message, which they obviously take from the book, be the truth from God?
- For the government — that wealth will be equitably distributed and the country better administered (Exodus 23:8, Deuteronomy 16:19).
- For travellers from Libya to meet real Christians who testify to their faith (Acts 8:26-39).
- For more believers to get jobs in Libya and have opportunities to proclaim the Messiah in word and deed.
- For Libyans to tune into radio, satellite TV and Internet programs. These effective media aids have helped many find faith. God is revealing himself!
- For the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to Libyans despite all their misconceptions.
(See the www.lovelibya.com site for more information.)
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 16 – Saved in Libya