If you turn on the news or even just read your Facebook news feed these days you’ll find reason after reason to feel uneasy or perhaps downright afraid. We are living in unsettling times with ISIS nearing the border of Bagdad in a mighty attempt to take down another middle-eastern city. A Houston, TX mayor is also attacking church leaders who didn’t like her “non-descrimination ordinance”, which in part allowed trans-gender people to use any bathroom they like…try sending your 12-year-old into a bathroom in that city. No thanks! And, Ebola is ravaging much of West Africa and has entered our beloved U.S. in a city that I love and used to live in.
When does the tragedy end?
I think we all know the real answer, which is that it won’t until the Lord returns and every knee bows to him. I can’t tell you how often I remind myself that one day every ISIS member, every killer, every atheist, and every one else will bow their knee and confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10, Romans 14:11). It doesn’t change today’s crisis, but it screams that one day justice will prevail.
So, what is a Christian to do? How should we respond? As a mother caring for her children at home, what can you do?
First, I think it’s worth saying that we shouldn’t just stick our heads in the sand and ignore what’s happening around the world, because it scares you. Not only does this seem like an irresponsible response for a Christian, but it also shows a lack of concern for the rest of the world; a world that God dearly loves and sent his Son for.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Because God loves the world, this means that I should as well. I desire to love the things he loves; sometimes I just need him to open my eyes to see this world as he does. That changes my response to the horrors on the news. It necessitates a response.
God is using his word to remind me over and over that this world is not my home. There is a future hope and this vapor of a life is to be lived for his glory. As a Christian, we are to carry hope to those we meet and as a Christian mother, we are to disciple our children so that they too, may know him.
Here are a few ways I choose to respond to the current events:
- Be aware: Times are quickly changing and we should be listening. As we saw in Houston just this past week, freedom of speech is becoming less “free” and those with agendas clearly against the Lord are hitting “below the belt” by attacking our churches. Pray for those making these audacious decisions. They need Jesus. They need his love. They need to repent and they need his forgiveness. As a Christian, you don’t have to take this lying down. Dr. Russell Moore makes a fantastic point in a recent article where he tells us to follow Paul’s example in Acts 16:37 where Paul and Silas had been unfairly beaten and placed in jail. After realizing what they had done to Roman citizens, the police were going to send them away silently. Paul said, “No.. we’ve been unfairly treated, they need to come and walk us out!” (paraphrased) In other words, they need to own up to what they’ve done wrong. As a Christian, we have a responsibility to vote for and call Senators and leaders who will petition for values that honor the Lord. We know that not everyone is going to honor and obey God, but when human rights are being taken away or liberty attacked, we should fight for them. Once it’s gone, it may never return.
- Be prayerful: I shouldn’t be, but I am so often amazed at how God answers the prayers of his people. Prayer is not only unifying to Christians as a group, but it also causes each individual to seek the heart of their Lord. When we pray “in Jesus’ name”, we are praying what he would pray for us if he were here. That truth has revolutionized my selfish prayers and caused me to seek the face of God for what HE actually wants to be done…. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Just understand that God’s will and your will are probably two different things. As you surrender your heart to his will, you can more readily accept his answer.
- Care for Christians around the world: This will look different for each of us. If you are a new mom or have a house full of kids, you may not be able to do anything more than pray like crazy for the refugees, the pastors, and the many other Christians who face daily persecution. Make it a priority during this season of life to do just that! If you are more able to move about, perhaps collect clothes, money, shoes, or books to send to displaced people groups. Pray for our military and send them notes of thanks. Write notes of encouragement to those God places on your heart-Israeli Christians, Syrian refugees, Houston pastors just to name a few. Even another step is to go and serve those people.
In those times that fear creeps in, claim the truth of scripture! The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17