It’s easy to block out what’s going on beyond the boundaries of our homefronts. It’s easy to get wrapped up in silly little things. Petty jealousies, pointless disputes.
God sends timely reminders.
Earlier today I read this month’s newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs. The Sudanese government is attempting to wipe out people in three separate regions – Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Dictator Omar al-Bashir wants to force out and/or wipe out the non-Muslim, non-Arab population. Government forces continually bomb hospitals, schools, churches and fields of crops. Anything to keep the area destabilized and prevent people from getting what they need. Children are forced to dive into foxholes, speckled throughout every village and town, in hopes of surviving the aerial assaults. In South Kordofan there are 2 doctors, 2 clinics and one mobile unit (a tent) for 1.1 million people. The government has made all humanitarian and medicalaid illegal. Voice of the Martyrs team members have been arrested for attempting to help.
And yet our brothers and sisters cling to hope and joy. They are glad that their Muslim neighbors are open to the Gospel as never before. All they ask of us, swaddled in our Western comfort, is that we pray – and that we remember them.
Reading those words stole my breath and broke my heart.
Linking up with Kate and the usual suspects. We ponder: comfort.
So many of Your dear children are not safe tonight. They don’t know when or if the next meal will come. When or if there will be clean water. When, not if, the persecutors may yank the door open, tearing apart the family, dragging loved ones off to jail and death.
Mothers cradle malnourished children.
Fathers try to protect them.
Those children are kidnapped, forced into military service.
Bombs explode, tearing homes, hospitals, schools, churches, whole villages to bits. Tearing apart bodies. Bringing life to a swift, painful end.
I know You see them, Father. I know You love them.
Please, dear Jesus, grace these, the ones who carry the bright light of Your Gospel into the darkest places, grace them with the comfort of Your tangible presence. Grant them spines of steel and knees that bend only to You. Protect their minds, their hearts. Guard their faith. May they be a brilliant testimony of Your power and mercy.
And us, Holy One, who doze so comfortably – wake us.
For our brothers and sisters need our prayers.
Our practical aid.
If it is Your will, please bring this madness to an end. Let those in power hear and be transformed by Your word, flowing from the cracked lips of Your faithful ones. If not, if for reasons beyond my understanding this evil must be allowed room to roam – fill your children with such love and passion and joy that, though they be killed, they cannot be denied.
In Jesus’ Name,
My husband is the human resources director for a local hospital. Before retiring, my mother worked in doctor’s offices, oversaw the medical records department at the same hospital and ended her career doing something called credentialing (I know nothing about that). My brother and I owe much to the doctors and nurses who have cared for us, far beyond monetary debt. I am, without doubt, pro-medicine.
So I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I won’t sit idly by while people – Christian or not – suffer at the hands of a violent, corrupt government.
We can’t give much, but we can give something. I have a feeling you can, too.
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20 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Comfort”
Here I am wrapped up in my own comfort, and here your are, reminding me that there is more than just me. I can’t give tonight. I will try tomorrow, when the paycheck is deposited. May God bring our brothers and sisters that we never meet, rest and comfort.
I point no fingers. Forgetfulness comes quick and easy. I’m thankful that God dropped this reminder into my lap.
He will hear our prayers and answer with goodness and grace beyond our full comprehension.
ah, what a good reminder to pray for the martyrs of the faith. Thank you. It is good to provide the comfort that we can.
Indeed, Annette. Often we think that “all” we can do is pray. It is really the “most” we can do. We have no idea how God might move in response, how people might be strengthened, what lives might be saved.
my heart is weary from all the reports of persecution and/or deaths of Christians abroad. I am saddened that they have to suffer and I feel helpless beyond praying to our almighty Father for His intervention. Beyond that, I don’t know that what I do is of importance or makes a difference.
Lovely Aunt Lenore, Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. Whatever we do. He sees your love and your service. He blesses you for it. Be encouraged by that today!
What a powerful essay, Marie. Though in some respects I come to dealing with issue from a different place, I can join you in a sincere and heartfelt, “Amen!”
When we’re in Heaven together, we’ll sit down and listen to these faithful brothers and sisters. We’ll ask them all our questions. Then we’ll look into the face of God and marvel at His goodness. 🙂
Thank you for the reminder that there is so much more to life than what I see living in my North American comfort. Thank you also for sharing that video. It was really powerful!
Hip-hop is not really my style of music, but that song is incredible. Really makes you think. Thanks for stopping by!
Yes! Let’s get woke! I can’t help but think of the Diary of Anne a Frank as it gives us at least a glimpse into what it must be like to hide from the evil forces out there. Your prayer was beautiful! I’m way down in the 54 spot this week.
I think that God must give these people an extra dose of bravery. I don’t know how they face the chaos and darkness day after day otherwise.
“Grant them spines of steel and knees that bend only to You. Protect their minds, their hearts. Guard their faith. May they be a brilliant testimony of Your power and mercy.” Marie, I echo your prayer and know that Jesus, our Great Intercessor pleads for these, just as He prayed for His disciples and us too in John 17. Thank you for pointing me back to this information from Voice of the Martyrs – I missed it because I was doing something else. Obviously, I was supposed to read it and know it and pray with you through it. Thank you!
I think of that scene in Revelation, when the martyrs ask the Lord, “How long?” I hope it’s not much longer. I hate thinking of all the pain these beloved ones face. Yet I know that is faithful and good to give them all the endurance they need to see the race through to the very end.
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I went there too Marie… Revelation martyrs. God’s grace is sufficient…yet I don’t even know what that means. 💔
This is a great reminder. It is very easy to get settled in our lives of comfort and to forget how bad things really are for people in many places around the world.
For sure, Lesley. We all need to have our eyes opened more often than not.
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Amen Marie! One of those malnourished babies has been our daughter for nearly 12 years (from Liberia, West Africa). She was very near death when she was taken to the foster family. The folks in those countries are never far from my thoughts and prayers.
VOM is also one of our favorite ministries. The youth in our new church has plans to make a trip to help in the offices in the near future. I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time and I’m wondering if my youngest and I could tag along. I just found out about it, so I may ask Sunday if they need a chaperone or a driver.
Amen and amen, Marie. Thank you for sharing the plight, courage and hope of our brothers and sisters. Thank you for your prayer and your call to action.
Thank you for making me aware of this Marie.
What a powerful prayer.