We returned a few weeks ago from a lovely vacation in Rome, Italy.
The eternal city is filled with history and adventure.
Italy was everything I dreamed it would be and more.
Yummy food …
Fun tours with the hubby and friends…
Speaking at our friend’s beautiful wedding…
This was truly a trip of a lifetime.
In the midst of the most amazing vacation of my life came an unexpected lesson during the ancient Roman city tour.
We entered the Coliseum and the history of this huge structure surrounded me.
As we overlooked the Coliseum I noticed the floor of this huge stadium had been removed, revealing an underground area that was used to hold animals, gladiators and imprisoned Christians waiting to be publicly martyred for their faith.
Our tour guide explained that for lunchtime entertainment the crowds would cheer and watch Christians be tortured and killed for their faith.
Today a Cross stands as a memorial for the thousands of Christians martyred in the Coliseum…
I stood there in the very place where so many lost their lives, overwhelmed with the sacrifice they made – just to believe in Christ.
My eyes filled with with tears and my faith was challenged.
The Book of Romans is filled with encouraging promises of God’s love.
Many times throughout my walk with God those promises have filled my heart with hope.
It made me wonder…
As the ancient Roman Christians were imprisoned and tortured in this place, did the promises that were written to them fill their hearts with hope and courage…?
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I will never read this scripture again, without thinking of them. The thousands who went before me and faced the ultimate challenge to their faith with the hope of Christ in their hearts.
Joining Michelle DeRusha