I am in such a different place today than I was ten or twenty years ago. Today, I write in the comfort of my home in Tennessee, while my mind is taking a virtual race around the globe.
So many bad things are happening in the world.
The coronavirus is spreading. As I pray for those I know in so many of these locations and those I don’t, I ask the Lord for an end to the suffering and fear, while using his people to comfort, care and be a source of hope for those affected. I’m thankful for mission organizations who are providing support and whose representatives are stepping up to serve instead of stepping back in self-preservation.
When bad things happen, God’s people rush into the fray, not away.
I’m praying for those serving on the field who are traveling across continents for meetings, ministry or furlough. Every train or plane ride is a risk now. Praying for traveling mercies means so much more in times of major health crises.
Life doesn’t stop when disaster strikes.
In a country in which we lived and among a people we deeply loved, arrests are taking place of those who seek to be salt and light for Christ. Though I want to pick up the phone or go to my social media account to check on the beloved there, I know I can’t. It’s not a time to take risks that could affect them. I must leave them in God’s hands.
When you want to know but can’t, you pray.
As attacks against believers in West Africa increase, my heart cries out for those who have lost family members, pastors, and friends in this senseless violence. I take comfort for those hurting by knowing their close link with Christ, because it was he who said:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”*
When the news is bad, I remember the times he’s brought me through during our time overseas and even here in my home country, and I pray this for myself and for each person who comes to mind:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.*
Lord, may each one of your children be more than conquerors as they are reminded by your presence in this time of trial and struggle. Nothing can separate them from your love in Christ Jesus. Encourage them today with these promises by your Spirit’s power. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen
Grace and Peace
*John 15:18 (NIV)
*Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)