I don’t often touch on politics and current events here. We children of God are scattered all over the world and find ourselves in vastly different circumstances, and I believe the Spirit uses the Scriptures to speak to each one of us concerning how we live in our specific culture and unique life situations. I leave that up to the Spirit.
But today I’m going to dive into a subject the Spirit brings daily to my mind.
Frankly, it’s been hard for me to write of hope while I sit in my cozy nest but so many people are living in tents and waiting…waiting for a new place to call home. They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, just like me. Then, within hours, they lost all of life as they had known it. Now, there is only uncertainty. And waiting. And looking for hope.
I’ve been reading their stories. David Rupert has interviewed many displaced Syrian Christians and recorded some of these Refugee Stories.
It’s worth the time to read their stories.
God is not okay with what’s happening in the Middle East.
And how could He possibly be okay with His children doing nothing?
As heirs to His Kingdom, already here, and Christ’s partners in redemption work, surely we are to be mobilizing to do something?
But if you’re like me, you look at the enormity of this crisis, and you wonder, But what can I do? That’s been my question.
Like a letter from God, a magazine came in the mail yesterday. Within its pages I found part of the answer for me. And — of course! — it fit right in with yet another hope found in Daniel!
These two paragraphs come from an article on the genocide happening right now in the Middle East:
There are several things people of faith can do to help Middle Eastern Christians, says Travis Wussow, director of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s International Justice & Religious Liberty department—both personally and on a public-policy level.
“First, we need to believe that our prayers matter. We need to commit to praying for our brothers and sisters,” he tells Citizen. “Then we need to bear their burden. We must send our treasure to organizations that are doing great work on the ground. I’m not talking about our used T-shirts, I’m talking about serious cash.”*
Two things we can do, in this crisis and in every other situation as we work in the Kingdom: prayer and bearing each other’s burdens.
I think we sometimes wonder if our prayers make any difference in such a situation. If you’re reading Daniel, did you notice what happened when he began praying for his own nation? (And also notice, Daniel was living in another country, in relatively good circumstances, but he was praying for a country and people removed from his own situation.)
The angel messenger told him, “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” (9:23) and “Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.” (10:12)
Another hope found in the Book of Daniel: Our prayers do matter!
And as for the second suggestion—that of sending our treasures to help others—one of the things I’ve been most convicted about this year is that God puts a great deal of importance and urgency on our taking care of the poor. The commands pop up again and again and again in Scripture.
I am a child of the King of this eternal kingdom in which I already live. By America’s standards, I have little. By the world’s standards, I have much. By God’s standards… what can I be doing with what I have?
How should I be conducting myself in this world today?
Father, may your Kingdom come through our lives, and may we do Your will here on earth as it is in heaven.
And, brothers and sisters, our prayers will be heard in heaven. Let’s not fail to send them up.
*At the time I publish this, the article is not yet online at the magazine’s site, but I have no doubt it will be posted there soon. Watch for it at Citizen Magazine, from Focus on the Family.
The article also posts these links:
idc.org – To learn more about In Defense of Christians and how to become a member.
focusonthefamily.com/international – To find out about Focus on the Family’s work in the Middle East or contribute to it.
genocide-watch.net – To learn more about genocide
https://barnabasfund.org – To learn more about persecuted Christians around the world and how to help them.
westminster-institute.org – To learn more about how radical Islamic ideology threatens Christians
At his website, David Rupert also has suggestions for donating.
I am trusting you, O LORD,
saying, “You are my God!”
My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me.
© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, Lana Turner, and Mary Jane Smith for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)