Sharp pains have electrified my lower back since our arrival back from Europe. Maybe scooping our four year old up and running to catch our flight out of London–was a no-no. Whatever the reason, my back won’t let me forget that it needs care right now. When something is going wrong in our bodies, it is difficult to escape the pain without wise intervention–but what if you are suffering and there is no medication or treatment that can make you well? What if you find yourself alone and your situation is growing dimmer by the day? Wouldn’t you long for real hope?
Pains are resonating throughout the world and many are slow in finding relief in their suffering. Whether they are being held captive, grieving, fleeing, longing, aching, or in a state of deep fear–they are all longing for help to come. We’ve seen the headlines–people are at the brink of life and death situations and some are witnessing their loved ones being slaughtered. Urgency is building around the globe, voices are growing louder and more intensified, and I wonder–who are the needy crying out to save them?
What I’ve found, after our being stranded in Eastern Europe, is that there was a limit to how many people I could cry out to for help. There was a limit to the attention that I could bring to my dire situation from where we were–especially when our resources were thin and I wasn’t in familiar surroundings. As our original plan was crumbling before our eyes, my first choice was to surrender in belief in God Almighty for His intervention and second, trust that caring people would make enough noise on our behalf. Now that we are home as a family, we are beyond grateful to God and those who lifted up their voices of encouragement and prayers.
So what is it that we can do today to make more of a difference right where we are? How can we as Christ following believers reach out and act as a healing salve to the dire needs, grieving around us, and around the world? I think we need to first pray and ask God what He thinks. What are the gifts He’s given us? Second, we can pray for open eyes, ears, an open calendar, and maybe even an open wallet. Third, I think we need to pray continually for those that are hurting. We may even pray for our own personal growth in wisdom, love, and courage–so that we will open our mouths and take action when led by the Lord. Will we need to sacrifice our time or take a risk? Yep–and I know it’s not easy to take the first step or the fifth. It may be a long journey that you are embarking on, but just like our eighteen month long adoption quest–God will see you through every single step of the way. You know, our loving God may just be sending each of us, at a moment in time that will become eternally significant for someone.
May we be encouraged through the apostle Paul’s letter on how to pray and take action today and in the days to come. Colossians 4:1-6 says, ”Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”