Ever walk the road that God has charted for you and you start remembering the troubles of the Church around the world? Today was such a day for me. Thinking about my life in Canada, planning the many churches I need to see, and sitting right now waiting for a pastor to keep his appointment with me to discuss partnerships – and yet the Church out there, hurting.
In Iraq, the Church has decided to leave – of the 1.5 million followers of Jesus, only 250,000 are left – one evangelical Anglican church and the others Orthodox. In the same country the memories of 60 Christians worshipping God in church one Friday, the doors locked from the outside and the 60 followers of Jesus all died as the church burned down.
In Egypt, the Church is leaving too. I pastor the English congregation of such a church in Toronto. The stories are incredible, the pain too obvious of Christian families destroyed for being followers of Jesus.
This morning I was wondering if the Church ever thought that God walked off and left them, walked off and never looked back?
I wonder if they prayed asking God to come and visit the site of disaster.
Asaph must have known something like this for he recorded it in one of his Psalms. Even back then the same kinds of things were going on and he saw it in direct correlation to the peoples desires to destroy the temple.
The temptation is to say that there is not a sign or symbol of God in sight, nor anyone who knows what is going on.
We ask ourselves – how long will they blaspheme, and enemies curse and get by with it? Why doesn’t God do something?
The gentle answer always comes back – you asked for a miracle and I gave you one – love for your enemies, forgiveness to those who attempted to destroy you.
In remembering the Church we remember that God is our King from the very start. He worked salvation in the womb of the earth. As Asaph described, with His finger He opened up springs and creeks and dried up the wild floodwaters. He owns the day and He owns the night; He put stars and sun in place. He laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons, which for me are spring, summer, fall and winter.
So, our prayer becomes a little softer – don’t throw Your lambs to the wolves, don’t forget those that are suffering for their faith, remember your promises as they have committed to keeping your conditions.