Dec 2014

Come, all you who are weary and burdened

My name is Mohammed.. I'm a known man in the city because my father is one of the famous merchant in the city and I have also continued his way and now I'm working in a shop in the marketplace. I want to share with you the story of my life.

At nights when I came to home from the shop and watched TV, I watched the different programs. One night one of the Christian channels incidentally drew my attention. Pastor and host of the program said: “Jesus says: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” and he continued: “my brother and sister who watch this program now, if you are tired of life, if you feel hopeless, Jesus tells these words to you, Jesus is alive and among us.”

His words affected me so much and my heart would feel relaxed after hearing his words. I always felt a void in my heart, a feeling of emptiness that nothing could remove it.

Always when I walk in the streets among the people, people greet me and have a great respect for me due to my family famousness; however, I felt loneliness in my heart strangely. Many people dream of being respected and people talk about them everywhere like me, but I did not take pleasure in theses compliments and admirations.

When I listened to the pastor's words for the second time, he preached this way: "When Jesus says that if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink, he means the thirst of souls; i.e., those who feel their need for God come to me. Also Jesus says that I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So the pastor continued: “God is love and due to his love he sent Jesus to be the Savior of the world. Today, if you need to see God's love, Jesus is inviting you to believe in him, not as a prophet but as a savior and Lord.”

From that day onwards the only thing that I felt to make me happy and satisfy my heart, was listening to the pastor's words. So throughout the day I was waiting to finish my work in the shop and go home.

In the meantime my wife was not happy that I looked this channel and that it had attracted my attention. She was not a religious woman but an almost free-thinking woman but when she saw that I was looking that channel, she rose from next to me and went to the kitchen and made herself busy and sometimes looked TV from the corner of her eyes angrily but I focused only on the pastor's words and did not pay attention to her behavior. The pastor's words plunged into my heart like a spear. I have great eagerness to read Bible but I did not have it, so I decided to buy one.

There was a book center in our city and I was sure that I could find Bible there but on the other hand, I was afraid lest a friend or acquaintance see me when seeking Bible because this could damage our family reputation and name. So I went to the book center of one of the surrounding cities where was forty kilometers away from my city. After seeking greatly and going from one shop to another for buying a bible I entered a shop and seller looked at me and told me that he had Bible and took a bible from a corner of his shop where it was not seen and put it into the bag and gave it to me. Of course, he was right because Iran is a Muslim country and selling bible is illegal. When I came out of the shop and went toward the car, I said to myself if Muslims consider Jesus as a prophet so why they fear his word so much that Bible is so hard to find!

From when I rode in the car to when I got home I waited to read the Bible early as possible. When I got home and my wife saw the Bible in my hand she did not welcome me with an open face but I tried not to pay attention to her and I sat down and started reading the Bible. After reading a little, I engaged in watching the pastor’s words but many questions came to my mind. So I sent an email to the pastor and asked him my questions. After two days I got an email from a pastor and he had clearly answered my questions and finally invited me to give my heart to Jesus Christ and believe in him and at the end of the email he had also written a prayer that I had to read after believing in Christ.

But I decided to research more, read the Bible more, compare Quran and Bible and ask more questions from the pastor that we had become friend somewhat.
Throughout the day I read Gospel in my shop and when a client came to my shop, I quickly gave him what he wanted, and I continued to read. At night when I went home I watched the Christian programs and finally, after two months I could not tolerate and believed in Christ and gave him my heart. Just that moment I believed in Christ, I felt my heart to be free and I had an absolute feeling of lightness and joy. During the time when I had listened the pastor’s words, I had changed and I had become a new person. I was a very harsh, despotic, and scurrilous man but after believing I had become a very kind man and I did not curse any more.

During this time the only thing that I had not noticed it and I had ignored it simply was my wife. When she saw me reading the Bible, she went into the bedroom and avoided me. But after I told him I have believed in Christ, her attitude completely changed with me and she expressly opposed me and told me: “you have deviated from Islam and these pastors are evil and take money from the America for saying these lies and the Bible you read is distorted and belongs to the Israelis that are the enemy of Muslims!”

I was trying to talk to her reasonably, but she did not pay attention to my words and answered me angrily. I told her: “did not you see the changes in me? I'm the same harsh and scurrilous man who constantly cursed, but now the love of Christ has changed me so much.” She said that I was under a delusion and the words of pastor have cast a spell on me.

I was quite surprised by her words because she was not superstitious and always thought about the problems logically but that time she had become totally irrational and looked at me and my faith by prejudice. She decreased her marital relationship with me gradually and did not love me as before! Also she did not do the house works and often when I came home from work, I saw there is nothing to eat as well as she did not touch my clothes! Before my faith if one day the food was not ready, I strongly dispute her but now I tried to be kind with her and do all my works myself.

At home when I read Bible, I tried to read its beautiful verses aloud so that she could hear and verses of Bible would attract her attention and make her euphoric like me. But she raised the voice of television not to hear my voice. I tried to draw her to myself by my love and I gave her the flower and gift but nothing had effect and she considered my loves another way.

Our marital relationship was in a critical condition and she did everything that caused me to bother. For example, I gave her the money and she spent it for helping the shrine of our city and said to her family, friends and acquaintances that Muhammad did not give me any money and she tried to make me angry with these things.

I felt loneliness in my own home; throughout the day in the shop I thought about home and I had lost my concentration at work.

When hands of the clock showed the time to go home, my anxiety increased and I prepared myself for useless dispute and discussion! I never thought that I would deal with such problems at my home. She told the issue of my faith to her family and they also supported her and confirmed her behavior. I felt that she did not love me anymore and wants to leave me.

After a while, she explicitly said that she wanted divorce and could not live with a pagan in a house and threatened me if I did not divorce her, she would tell the issue of my faith to everybody and then defame me and consequently my family. At that moment this part of Bible that I had read came to my heart: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10: 34-39)

When I read this verse I felt that it has completely written for me and once again this verse proved me that I've stepped in the right way and Jesus is God and he is certainly aware of my situation.

One night when I went home, I saw that my wife has gathered her things and left the house and put a letter for me with this content that she has gone to her father's house and did not want to live with me anymore. I was very sad and at that moment I fell on my knees and wanted Jesus to tell me what I can do and while I wept, I said: "Jesus, I know you're God and truth; you know how much I would like my wife to believe in you and be saved. You know well that I tried my best but she did not want to live with me and considers me as a pagan."

My wife still lives separate from me and I have tried repeatedly to return her to home by love but she still believes that I'm a pagan and do not live with me as long as I am a Christian!