I have a map on the wall in my room. A map of the world. A map that I pray over. A map of all the places that I wish to go to one day. The different colored pins represent places that I’ve already visited.
Belgium is a beautiful country. It has a lot of culture, and has some of the best food.
When the Paris attacks happened, I was devastated. I’ve walked the streets of Paris and I’ve experienced the remarkable beauty of the French city.
When the Belgium attacks happened this morning, my heart was broken. I was in that same airport last summer waiting for my ride, sitting on the floor next to the wall, charging my phone, in that airport that was bombed. Words cannot express the heartache that I am feeling today. Innocent people, innocent travelers, hurt and some killed by the explosions of bombs that contained gas, nails, and pieces of glass.
A wonderful poet, Warsan Shire, wrote a poem in 2014, but I think it fits.
“Later that night, I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered, where does it hurt? it answered everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.”
The world is hurting.
Social media seems to have turned everyone in the world, a Christian. With #prayforbelgium circulating, why is it that only in times of trouble and heartache, do we search for God? On the other hand, why do we think that God is not already there in hard times?
As a Jesus follower, I think it is my duty to not only hashtag the phrase, but also do it. Pray. And not only for the victims and their families, but for the terrorists as well.I honestly didn’t know what to pray for. What do you pray for in a tragic time such as this? So I stood in silence. Listening for God.
It is so difficult to pray for a group of people like ISIS, who have taken responsibility for the attacks, but Jesus teaches us to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). They are humans too. They are people that need Jesus just as much as I do.Just as much as you do. And if we continue to have them torment our minds with hate and sorrow, we are just doing ourselves a disfavor. God is love. He teaches us to forgive. Through all of this, however, God is showing us that the times are soon ending. That Jesus will soon come.
So as I listened, and read my bible, God opened up to me in this passage.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience… If God is for us, who can be against us?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 18-25, 31, 35-39)
If God is for us, who can be against us?