I’ve given a great deal of thought about the crisis in the Middle East lately, especially in the last week. I think about the children in Syria who have had to flee a war-zone, and how it is that they found their world in turmoil while we are graced to live in peace. Sometimes I fear that the news of war after war in this part of the world may make us numb and calloused because we feel powerless to help. For years I have been able to console myself to think that Egypt isn’t as bad as the rest of the Middle East, but now–not so much. I happen to have many relatives that live there. One is an aunt in her 90’s, in a nursing home that I hear is very close to the chaos. Two other cousins work in the university, also in the midst of the fighting. All of them are Christians.
This is a world I don’t believe we can understand, and yet we live on the same globe. I hope and pray for God to shield as many Christians from the evil, that somehow He will spare this generation any more persecution. I’m praying that He will tarry and allow peace again, even though I’ve read the last book of the Bible and know that prophecy reveals an increase in wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:5-8)
I don’t want to be a downer, but I am very sober-minded these days. While we are to be thankful for good things that may be happening in our lives, a heavy cloud does hang over me as I think of the dire circumstances of believers who don’t take an easy day for granted.
I’m sober-minded because I also know that we as believers, even in the States, are not immune from persecution. As the calendar moves forward in time, I see that we must all be vigilant, not blinded to our own vulnerability according to scripture. Evil has many names. It may not be radical Islam on this side of the world, but it could be a liberal agenda and a growing intolerance to God that we will face. What I see here is an animosity towards standing up for the Biblical value of marriage, as that very term is steadily being chipped away to mean whatever anyone may want it to mean. I firmly believe we should always speak the truth in love, but will we be targeted for speaking up for Biblical values? Makes you wonder if this life isn’t just a test. Also makes you want to share the gospel and tell of our hope even more, given the freedom we have now.
I came across a blogger, Marie of “Along the Way” who was diligent enough to find two organizations that assist our brothers and sisters in Islamic countries. They are the United Nations Refugee Agency and UNICEF. Please give generously as you feel lead and are able.
Above all, please PRAY. Please PRAY for Egypt. PRAY for Syria, for China, and for every other country that suffers at the hands of tyranny. Pray for God’s peace to reign and for hearts to change. Please also know that we have a wonderful privilege and opportunity to intercede on their behalf, and to enjoy a freedom to worship that we may not understand until it’s lost.