Over the past several days I have heard some of the most two sided discussions about the Syrian crisis and it's refugees. On the one hand you have people proclaiming that we need to protect ourselves and that it isn't safe to bring over these refugees. The other side says that we shouldn't just let them in, because there is a vetting process so that takes care of how they come to the USA. I would like to point out several things within this discussion and several key issues when trying to understand it's proponents.
First is the question of who we are. Not who we are as Americans, for that is merely the place where we reside. But who we are as people. God created us in such a way as to be able to have unique differences in our personalities, skin color, height, and so on. However, there is one thing that rings true for every single person that God has created. That is the simple fact that He has created them.
So our first response should be that we are God's creations and that those of us who proclaim a saving knowledge of God should know this more than anyone. Secondly, we must then ask; what is the difference between these Syrians and myself? Some may answer and say that they are evil, terrorists, and hate Americans. While this may be true of some of them, could this not have been said about you before Christ's light broke into your heart? You may not have hated Americans or been a terrorist in the sense that you attempted to kill other human beings, but the truth of the matter is that you were a terrorist and you were evil. The only difference was that your evil and terror were aimed at a Holy God rather than mere man.
Who are we as Christians to even begin to say that we know the reason for what goes on in the world. However, I think that this article by David Crabb lends a beautiful picture to one reason why it could be happening. In his article Crabb mentions the idea that maybe God is bringing all of these Syrians to our country is so that God's will for their salvation might be brought to fruition. What an amazing thought that this is! It fits directly with what scripture tells us, that others can mean things for evil and yet God uses them for the good of His people. What if in order to reach those whom He has elected and chosen He is bringing them directly to us?!
So many Americans want to live in fear and concern about their own safety and they forget Who actually keeps them safe. It isn't the government, law enforcement, or weapons. It is God Almighty who keeps us safe in our beds at night, as we work, as we travel, as we pretend to make our own security decisions. Without God's blessing, none of those things would work. They would all fall apart and fail to do what we have designed them to.
My question then is this. Are you a Christian that believes in a sovereign God who controls all things and cares for those who He has called unto Himself? Are you frightened of mere man and the damage that he may cause or do you rest that your God is in control of your safety? Are you worried that your selfish desires and wants may be taken away? Are you concerned first and foremost about the spreading of the gospel to the lost and dying? Are you too proud and arrogant to stand for those who cannot defend themselves? Are you willing, as Christians throughout the ages have done, to lay down your life for the gospel? Are you willing to place your trust in the only One who can truly protect you and your family? Who are you truly?
Being a Christian isn't easy, and yet God calls us to be holy for He is Holy. Please join me in praying for the salvation of those seeking refuge and searching for some comfort in their time of need.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Recently I have seen a lot of fog coming off of the river that I drive alongside as I travel to work. Each time, I struggle to see the road, the other cars on it, and to make sure that I am driving safely. I am amazed at how easily the sun breaks through and causes the fog to dissipate in an instant. It reminded me today about the way that God breaks through to us when He reaches into our hearts and minds and creates something beautiful.
Before God makes us new, we live as though we see the world through a fog. We see glimpses of beauty, sunshine, joy, and wonder. Yet, we just can't see enough to cause us to be truly amazed and awed. When God removes the veil from before our eyes, it is just like watching the sun destroy the morning fog. It runs away and cannot hide. It pulls back to reveal such beauties that we could never have imagined to exist in the world.
God does the same thing to our minds and hearts. We were unable to understand, see, or believe. Then God does something that we have nothing to do with in order to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and minds to understand. The fog is lifted and we cannot contain the joy and the grace that we have been shown abounds more than we could ever imagine.
As we approach the holidays, may we all be grateful most of all for the work that Jesus did, both through His life and His death, for those whom He has chosen even before the creation of the world. We can be thankful for the many worldly blessings that we have, but if we do not realize the most important thing to be thankful for, then we have missed the entire point. The early things do not matter, but the things of God remain forever! May you be the tool used to remove the fog from someone's eyes, or to lift it from their minds. May you shine forth the rays of God's truth to the ends of the earth in order to proclaim His goodness and mercy towards those whom He has chosen.