Thursday, August 14, 2014

they are us

You might not have heard the news. The major news channels are only just starting to talk about it.
Normal people forced to leave their homes. Told to convert, die or leave.
Children killed. Women abused.

These are Christian people in Iraq. People who believe and trust the same God I do.
I hear stories about little children being killed and I look at my own two girls. What crime did these children commit other than to be born into homes where their parents proclaimed a particular faith that opposed the strong?

I must confess it had left me feeling rather weak. In prayer I cry out to God,
"What the heck are you doing? Don't you see this? These are your people!"

Then last weekend a great teacher of Gods word laid it all out to me. She spoke of Gods people from the beginning of time to the end. They had their ups and downs. They followed their God faithfully and betrayed him with reckless abandon. They enjoyed plenty and endured famine. They heard word from him over and over and sat in still silence.

But through all that was God, weaving his plan and loving his people. Despite their ups and downs he remained faithful. God's love did not mean their lives would be a bed of roses but that he would keep his promises. On the micro level some people lived their lives without seeing change or hearing a word but on the large scale span of time we see a wonderful and beautiful story of love.

A story that ended (or began) with God fixing the broken hearts once and for all. Jesus on the cross. The call of God willing his people back to him a roaring thundering noise with the act of one innocent, good man dying to make it so.

The story of time is not of God forgetting his people but of him calling them, always calling them back to him. Seeing them. Hearing them. Loving them. They are not forgotten.

***

On Sunday in church we read 1 Peter 2. It talks about Jesus as a corner stone and his followers as living stones being built into a spiritual house. Set aside and chosen to be Gods. Not just as individuals but as one big group. One family. One people.

These Christians in Iraq are not just randoms on the other side of the planet.
They are our family.
They are stones together with each other Christian across the globe.
They are us.

We must not forget them. If life were a little different we would be in the same position as they are.
They are not criminals but believers.

But if we believe that our God has poured out his love in a stronger way than in giving us a happy life here and now we need not pray only for an end to their suffering. Of course we would love for the wars to end and the persecution to cease but more than that we pray that these family members of ours would be strong.
That they would remember the God who was and is faithful. They would remember his big plan and see how it has unfolded across time. That they would find great strength when everybody would expect weakness.

Pray for these things and remember them in your hearts because these people are us, and one day we may need these things prayed for us too.

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