By Pastor Richard Wurmbrand
THE JOY OF THE LORD
Just to make us laugh also a little bit, I will tell you one thing which happened. Once while I lay on the few planks which were my bed, I read from memory the Sermon on the Mount, according to Luke. I arrived at the part where it is said, “When you are persecuted… for the Son of man’s sake, rejoice you, in that day and leap for joy….” You will remember that it is written like this. I said, “How could I commit such a sin of neglect? Christ has said that we have to do two different things. One to rejoice, I have done. The second, to ‘leap for joy,’ I have not done.” So I jumped. I came down from my bed and I began to jump around.
In prison, the door of a cell has a peep hole through which the warden looks into the cell. He happened to look in while I jumped around. So he believed that I had become mad. They had an order to behave very well with madmen so that their shouting and banging on the wall should not disturb the order of the prison. The guard immediately entered, quieted me down and said, “You will be released; you can see everything will be all right. Just remain quiet. I will bring you something.” He brought me a big loaf of bread. Our portion was one slice of bread a week, and now I had a whole loaf, plus cheese. It was white. Never just eat cheese; first of all admire its whiteness. It is beautiful to look upon. He brought me also sugar. He spoke a few nice words again and locked the door and left.
I said, “I will eat these things after having finished my chapter from St. Luke.” I lay down again and tried to remember where I had left off. “Yes, at ‘when you are persecuted for My Name’s sake, rejoice… and leap for joy because great is your reward.” I looked at the loaf of bread and the cheese. Really, the reward was great!
So the next task is to think of the Bible and to meditate upon it. Every night, I composed a sermon beginning with “Dear brethren, and sisters” and finishing with “Amen.” After I composed it, I delivered it. I put them afterwards in very short rhymes so that I could remember them. My books, With God In Solitary Confinement and If Prison Walls Could Speak, contain some of these sermons. I have memorized three hundred and fifty of them.
Out of bread I made chessmen, some of them whitened with a little bit of chalk and the others grey. I played chess with myself. Never believe that Bob Fisher is the greatest chess master of the world. He won the last match with Spassky. He won eight games and lost two. I, in three years, never lost a game; I always won either with white or grey!
Never allow your mind to become distressed because then the Communists have you entirely in their hands. Your mind must be continually exercised. It must be alert, it must think. It must, everyone according to his abilities, compose different things, etc.
I have told you all these things because they belong to the secrets of the underground worker when he suffers. May God bless you.