I’ve sat this week, with that sick feeling in my gut. The realization that it has been a year since 200 girls were taken by Boko Harem in Nigeria. 365 days have passed, and the moms and dads of these girls have very few answers, but hold onto hope.
365 days. And I’m moved to tears. I.CAN’T.IMAGINE!
A bit over a week ago, in our local area, a boy went missing while fishing with his family. A four days search with helicopters, divers, dogs and countless volunteers ensued. And rightly so, imagine if that was your son. This precious boy was discovered, drowned. Heartbreaking.
As I reflect, I’m struck with how much pain and agony we see on the news, and yet how quickly we move onto the next thing. We continue to hear about persecution, and yet how are we responding? Where on our prayer list does it fall? Is it there at all?
I lump myself in this indifference. But God is moving in me. To be honest, at times it seems too big. But.for.God. The same God that can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed. The same God that was raised from the dead. That.God. He loves to hear from us, and desires us to have a heart like his.
Our family has been through some hard stuff, and in the midst of it, God clearly let me know that I was feeling only a portion of what he feels for each of these. And I was undone.
As a parent, imagine if your love one went missing. Imagine the agony and the tears and the grieving. And that is but a portion of what he feels. What he feels for your daughter. It quickly seems overwhelming.
While social media has been ablaze at different times with the #bringbackourgirls movement, there are still parents with empty places at their table, holding onto hope. Holding on to hope, and yet imagining the worst. Is their daughter being sold as a sex slave repeatedly? Was she forced to marry? Is she being hurt? Did she convert to Islam?
This is a hot topic on social media – this week. Next week, we will have moved on. Another act of terror or persecution will be in the forefront. So, what can we do? We can pray. Continually.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45
Will you join me in regularly committing to pray for persecution. For the girls in Nigeria and their families, for the Christians being executed by ISIS, and for the other acts of persecution happening around the world. As an American, it might seem to be in a far away land, but it could just as easily be here. And, to God each of these lives are part of his creation.
Nothing is too big for God.
Father forgive me for allowing the rush of the here and now to take away my commitment to pray for the persecuted around the world. Give me a new passion to pray for those who are being persecuted or who face persecution for their faith in you. Give them a continued boldness and faithfulness in you, and burn in me a desire to intercede on their behalf.