Tuesday, November 17, 2015

the refugee question

Today's readings: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalm 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22

Well, He did it again. God gave us just the message we needed today. And He gave us crystal clear instructions for a very difficult question.

See, there are many, many refugees fleeing the terrors of ISIS from Syria right now. And people are of two minds about what to do. Because there is some evidence that one of the killers in Paris on Friday was a Syrian refugee. And so the world says "Stay out. You're not welcome here." Because they don't want to bring ISIS into their homeland. And this is a valid concern.

But.

God tells us some pretty strong things today, and makes no bones about it. He says, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, because some have entertained angels without realizing it.... remember those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain with your own bodies...So we can say with confidence, The LORD is my helper, so I WILL HAVE NO FEAR. What can mere people do to me?"

I don't think I have to explain what that means to you.

I do want to say, though, that we followers of Christ should be patient with those who don't know Him. It is natural for others to be fearful, and to want to protect their families, their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries. That's our natural instinct - to protect. When we hear of a threat, we want to keep that threat away from the ones we love. (it's even natural for those who DO know Him to feel this way)

But God very clearly calls us to help people in need. And not to be afraid, because what can man do to us? ISIS can only kill our bodies. And they might just do it. But God is calling us to be fearless. To love people anyway. To help them. To boldly reach out and take care of suffering people who need a refuge in this modern, unbelievable storm.

It's dangerous. We might die. But Jesus never promised it would be easy or safe. He said "Trust Me." And so we do. Here are some thoughts from a good friend of mine on the issue.

God, thank You for being there for us to trust, and for giving us these clear instructions in the middle of a difficult question. You rock.

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

My. Prayer today was, help me God to put aside my thinking with my head and to focus on my feelings of my heart which is where You live. Only God has control of what we see going on around us, we are warned and warned to only trust in Him.....lean not on our own understanding, once we start leaning on our understanding we allow pride and fear to take over. We are just passing through no matter how much we feel this is our home. The very foundation of this country was 1) religious freedom, 2) not being controlled by earthly ideas or constraints, 3) burning desire to stand for what we believe in based on biblical principles.....that brings up quite a problem....if we are so busy with our own lives and those who we allow around us we have eroded the very foundation on which God has blessed this country and our lives. The situation we see around us today is largely due to our not standing up for our beliefs for so long that we have eroded our country to its current situation. Hatred for those who we consider different or somewhat the fear of the unknown.....is that trusting in God or putting our trust in ourselves, our government, our "leaders", or the politically correct way of acting, seeing and behaving. If we continue spending our time with earthly things and not even reading or studying the word of God how can we defend our current behavior or decisions. Is Gods way self centered and comfortable....absolutely not...but we have come to a point in time where we must choose if we hunker down and protect ourselves thus turning from what Gods commands tell us to do or follow Him even to the cross.