The straightjackets were torturous for Anna Chertokova. She hated having her hands covered and tied close to her body. To the attendants, she was nothing more than an animal, not worthy of consideration.
Anna spent ten years in an insane asylum in Russia. She was not even slightly insane. A judge had sent her there because she was a Christian. Her refusal to deny Christ was, to the judge, crazy.
Surrounded by the mentally ill, Anna sometimes questioned her own sanity. In the long nights she would cry out to God in her mind, even as those around her cried out in their anger or terror. Yet she never became angry. The faith that she refused to deny in court, she also refused to deny in the asylum. To those who were able to understand, Anna even tried to be a witness and example of Christ’s love.
“I greet you all with love in our Lord Jesus Christ,” Anna wrote from inside the asylum. “I pray to God that he will make us beautiful and perfect in Christ and that he will take charge of all our affairs. I firmly believe that God who created everybody’s heart and who examines all the affairs of mortal men will judge my dispute with the idolatry of atheism and will execute his judgment and justice.”
Christians may sometimes find themselves in crazy situations that try their patience and test their character. A difficult living arrangement. Confounding office politics. A rebellious child. Can we remain confident in God, no matter our circumstances? We can if we know the secret of contentment. The Bible teaches us that our inner sense of contentment must rule when facing outward circumstances. Our attitude takes its cues from God, not our situation. Otherwise, we risk becoming as confused as our circumstances. Take a lesson from Anna. Instead, ask God to teach you the secret of being content despite your circumstances.
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