These are the words of my sweet friend Meredith Srnec, unbeknownst to each other we both spent wee hours of the morning wrestling over the Paris tragedy.
I had officially given up on the “go back to bed” option and opened my phone to see if there were any updates on the attack. The last application I used yesterday was Facebook, so the first sentence of Meredith’s post was sitting there staring me in the face. Those first few words were exactly what my heart was feeling, so I kept reading and quickly knew I had to share it with all of you.
I have spent the hours of 3-6 am awake in deep sadness. I have no blog or platform and don’t claim to be eloquent in speech, so bear with me. I pray my intentions through my ramblings are clear.
To anyone affected by the tragic unnecessary murders in Paris, my heart truly breaks for you and you are in my prayers. I wish for healing and justice for you.
To Muslims living in the Western World who despise violence and are caught under a title that is more known for atrocities in the world today than good, I am saddened that you will awake today with more challenges than yesterday whether it be a stare, a comment, or something more severe.
To Muslim immigrants and refugees who have been subject to reprehensible oppression and have been stripped away of basic human rights and necessities, I am saddened you will be met with more skepticism and challenges in your new lands. I fear your hardships are not over.
The remainder of this post is directed only to anyone who proclaims a belief in Jesus Christ. I challenge you to examine your hearts and your minds in your response to the atrocities of the world today; specifically against people groups. The greatest commandment is to “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” In Timothy, Paul instructs us “This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL people and particularly of ALL believers.”
Why do we keep trying to twist our view of God’s character and nature concerning people we aren’t comfortable with or view as unworthy? The Bible is loaded with accounts of how God choses unlikely people to do extraordinary things. He also frequently gives people time to change…more time than our earthly minds think is necessary. God’s greatest desire is to be in relationship with the people He created and He does not wish anyone to be separated from Him for eternity. We are one of the biggest ways others will see Him (or not!) while on earth.
If we claim to believe in the promises of the Bible, we must put our faith and hope in how the story ends in Revelation 21 and not let fear dictate how we treat others while on earth. God wins. “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said,’ Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’
And he also said, ‘It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” In addition to love and grace, to wipe away our tears He must fulfill His promises and bring judgement and justice (wrath) against all evil.
We aren’t responsible for the later, but He will hold believers accountable for the former.
Do you need to, like me, examine your heart and your mind to see if it matches when Ephesians 3 states “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God?”
Meredith, thank you for allowing me to share these God breathed words.
My hope is that they will stir hearts.
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