Thursday, May 21, 2015

Love in the Face of ISIS

I'm a news junkie, that's no surprise around here.  I pray over the stories I hear.  Sometimes these prayers are full of sobs and not many words.  Thankfully, the Spirit is my intercessor to the King, and He knows exactly how to turn my heart cry into the words I lack (Romans 8:26).

ISIS has caused more of these prayers, more of these times during my lunch break, conference period, or middle of the night cries to the Most High, than just about anything else ever has.  The media hasn't given much hope in regards to ISIS.  Our government's lack of action is equivalent to silence and acceptance in my opinion.  I'm one who begs God to show me His work.  I need to see His presence, to cling to hope, to be washed in the reminder that as earth moans and cries out for restoration (Romans 8:19-25), the Creator is busy preparing to right all this wrong. The media isn't providing that for me though.  I've struggled to love the faces I see on the news.  I've struggled to feel towards them the way Jesus loves them.  Anger and frustration cloud my heart, and I stumble in my attempts to see them as Jesus does. 

But there are brave souls who are willing to choose Jesus over self, who will walk into Iraq and Syria and be witnesses to God's work.  Praise You, Lord!  People like Jeff Courtney who will proclaim God's work with his surgical skills.  People like Ann Voskamp who will share God's movement with the gift of her words.  I see the hope.   I rest in God's arms.  My heart sighs with relief at the reminder that evil will not prevail.  It just won't.  God WINS.  Love WINS.

Friends, it isn't up to folks like Jeff and Ann to do the work for us though.  As Ann mentions, we're not called to lives of comfort.  We're called to care and love and live life with wild abandon.  We, you and I, have to stand up to ISIS.  I don't care one lick that they are supposedly half a world away (I highly doubt the accuracy of that location statement).

See, I get so fed up with people telling me, "Oh, it's so nice what you're doing over in Zambia.  That must feel good.  I don't think I could ever go on a trip/spend that kind of time/save up the way you do"  Um, well, it kinda feels good, but that's not why we do it.  We do it because we're passionate about helping families in the name of Jesus.  And we're passionate about living counter-culture.  We feel that humans have been entrusted to us, and we can't turn our backs on a one of them.  We enjoy the American dream, but not at the expense of God's calling on our lives.  His will comes before ours.  Oh,we aren't perfect at it.  I laugh as I type that because we fail daily.  But God.  Oh, His grace to start fresh each morning with better choices in how we spend our time, energy, and money.  And the deeper Isaac and I get into our marriage, and the more we pray about how to raise our family, the less we care about keeping up with the Joneses and more about keeping up with the promptings of the Spirit.  This causes us to beg the Spirit to move in the hearts of those around us to join us in pursuing the heart of Christ and forget about pursuing the whims of man.

So, ISIS.  Yeah, they scare the ever livin' lights out of me.  But I'm tucked in safe in my home with my cushy job and precious family while the families Ann wrote about are living the reality of my nightmares.  I shouldn't fear them.  Jesus.  Remember Him?  He wins.  We're not called to ignore these families because Jesus wins.  We're called to love them.  Will you spend 5 minutes reading Ann's blog and 10 minutes watching Jeremy's testimony:

See, friends, we have ownership in these innocents.  They've been entrusted to us, those who have been given so very much.  And of us, much is required (Luke 12:48).  It's not hard to donate money instead of going out to the movies, and it certainly isn't hard to pray.  But it is our job, one eternally more important than any of my other desires.  

As I sit at home snuggled up with my little man on a bonus day with him, I beg God to break his heart for what breaks His.  Even now, I want this tiny boy to be tender-hearted to the callings of the Most High so that he can make the hard choices to choose Jesus over self.  It's a reminder that he'll watch his daddy and me for examples and guidance, and we can't fail him here.  Too much is at stake.  

You can donate to the families mentioned in Ann's post and Jeremy's video here.  Over $500,000 has been raised in just 3 days.  Let's love in the face of ISIS.  Let's love through our fear and our doubt.  Let's be Jesus to people so scared and desperate that they can't see their way out of their situation.  

Come Lord, Jesus, come (Revelation 22:20b).

1 comment:

Lisa Loves John said...

Laura, this absolutely beautiful... Your heart before the Lord is such a good reminder that we are called to live His calling for our lives and to make Him known while serving others - we must be willing to be uncomfortable

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