A couple of years ago, Djouher, a Christian from Algeria, lost her husband. He was diagnosed with cancer and died in a few months. She was pregnant with their fourth child then. Djouher, who leads a simple life with her children and trusts God for their future, doesn’t pretend that this is an easy time. She cries a lot at times and misses her husband, her soul mate, who was a committed Christian and an elder in their church. But she is also rediscovering the Bible like never before…
A new dimension
“I have been a Christian for many years, but ever since my husband died, I am really living a new dimension through reading the Word of God,” Djouher says. “Every week, I spend one full day reading and studying the Word of God. It is a priority for me. Many people who know that I have lost my husband see me smile and ask me how I manage it. I point at the Word of God and tell them: ‘My secret, it is here!’
“You know, I feel that without God’s Word, I would be dead. I wouldn’t be able to overcome this terrible time in my life. It is thanks to his Word that I know that God will never ever forsake me, that he is with me all the time, and that I feel his presence with me. (Joshua 1:7) I meditate his Word day and night and ask him what he wants of me. It is also thanks to reading God’s Word that I am able to help my children, I would feel so lost without it! I tell them: ‘Worship the Lord all the time! Sing to him all the time!’”
A letter to God
Djouher became a Christian when she was a student at university.
“Back in February 1998, I wrote a letter to God. I was a Muslim yet I didn’t know God, I didn’t have any relationship with him. I wrote to him and said: ‘Please reveal yourself to me! I want to know you!’ In September that year, a Christian student approached me. She spoke about the Muslim prayer ritual. She said: ‘God doesn’t want any gymnastics from us, he wants our heart!’ That touched my heart like an arrow! I thought: ‘it is that God I am looking for!’ – What I didn’t know was that people I knew who were Christians had been praying for me, for me to turn to Christ.
“The Christian student gave me a New Testament and that was the beginning of a very deep and meaningful relationship with the Word of God that has lasted to this day. A few weeks later, in October 1998, I became a Christian.
“Today the Word of God really is my armour. Often, Christians in Algeria are very scared in the Muslim context. But we shouldn’t be afraid by the situation nor by the Devil’s threats! And reading the Word of God helps us to be strong and trust in God. The Word of God is so effective!”
“There is one passage in the Bible that has stayed with me ever since I became a Christian. It is Isaiah 54. I go back to it often. You can see there are all kinds of colours and notes on this page in my Bible because it means a lot to me!
“Why is it important for me to read the Bible? First for my own good. God says: ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)’ – And then so that I can flourish. I don’t want to remain a baby! I want to go deep in the knowledge of my Father, heart to heart with the Lord. I go closer to the Light and I want to share what I discover.
A tree with very deep roots
“When I became a Christian, there was this image that came to me, vividly: a tree with very deep roots that gave lots of fruit. I am doing everything I can to be that tree! I speak to others about the Word of God all the time. Even my niece, she isn’t a Christian, but she speaks with me and opens her heart, and I share the Word with her. My mother is a Muslim also, a very superstitious one, but she knows I am a Christian and I pray, and she asks me to pray for her. Little by little, God is at work in my family.”
You are welcome to read 8 Bible verses about grief, sorrow and comfort.