The world and the humanity in it are very mysterious to me sometimes. We are born, we live, and then we die. Some lives are full of happiness and abundance while other lives get more than their share of sorrow. Why is that? Life can be short or long, but in the realm of eternity all human life is basically a fleeting speck.
That doesn’t mean it’s not important. God cares about His creation, and we know he watches over the sparrow as well as every hair on our head.
Lately I’ve had a hard time reconciling God’s power over and love for the world with all the pain in it. My head knows free will and human sin create the tragedy we continually hear about across the globe, but my heart just wants it to stop.
I don’t watch a lot of television coverage, but I often turn on radio news or follow international headlines online. I think we need to understand who is hurting and what the challenges are so we can care more deeply. Being ignorant certainly won’t make a difference, so I see power in knowing. Sometimes I can directly donate time or money to a cause or call someone in power to express concern.
I can also worry and stew until I’m exhausted by the effort. Scripture has so many examples of pain, suffering, and war that they would be impossible to count. The commonality between them is the response we can turn to.
Cry out to God. Jonah. Joel. Mary and Joseph. Noah. David. Paul. Jesus himself.
Whether in prayer, gratitude, or desperation, God’s people can speak to Him. When we wonder what to do, we should pray. We can pray with others or pray alone, and either way, God always listens.
I don’t write a news blog or a political blog, but I do write a human blog. I hope to share insights – big or small – that matter, and sometimes that means issues beyond the farm fields and running paths I frequent. I pray that no matter what resolution you believe in on these issues, we can all agree they need our concern and our prayers. Maybe you’ll also include many of these when you next share your thoughts with God.
- Africa; for those dealing with Ebola and the fear and death it brings. I pray for the right resources, people, and strategy to help contain this deadly disease and heal the sick. I heard a 93-year-old man speak about Ebola last week, and he had spent decades of his life serving as a doctor and medical missionary in the now-affected region of Africa. He asked for our prayers, and now I ask for yours.
- Iraq; for the people hurting, starving, afraid, killed, and killing. I ask for God’s love, and I pray that somehow diplomacy and peaceful means can work to stop violence. I pray for all our military personnel in this dangerous situation and for all our servicemen and women elsewhere across the world too.
- Syria; another closely related conflict full of suffering and years of war. I pray for refuge, healing, and peace for this country. I pray for the young generation that is growing up only knowing war.
- Gaza, Israel, and Palestine; I pray for everyone experiencing loss and violence in this region. I know the dynamics are so challenging here, and I don’t know what the answer is. Still, I desperately hope a permanent ceasefire and lasting peace can come.
- Ukraine; I pray for stability in Ukraine and an honest, secure government. I pray for peace, and I pray for healing to all the families who lost loved ones on flight 17 shot down last month.
- Worldwide; I pray for those injustices that don’t make headlines. I pray for God’s love and healing to reach those living in poverty, for women and girls facing trafficking or abuse, for workers in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, for countries full of violence, and for those lacking basic necessities like enough clean water, food, and shelter.
- The United States Southern border; I pray for the immigrant crisis and all the lives impacted. I pray for enough resources to humanely care for people. I pray that Americans can remember our heritage as a nation of immigrants and empathize with those trying to make a fresh start away from corruption, violence, and poverty. I pray for greater peace, stability, and prosperity throughout Central America and Mexico as well. I know things are far from perfect in any country, but I believe strongly in loving thy neighbor and working to help those who want to be here in America.
- Ferguson, Missouri; I pray for healing in this community. I pray for the family that lost their son and a town that lost a promising teenager. For those trying to make sense of the situation and those trying to stabilize it. I hope that peaceful protest can bring positive change and no more sadness to this grieving community.
- A prayer of thanks; I pray my thanks to God for the beauty of creation and the blessings He provides. Whether I feel my worst or my best, He always gives wisdom and love. I ask to be fully thankful for what I have and to do my best to share it with those who do not have.
Wishing you peace and blessings from God and the desire to shine His light to others. Amen.
* Lest you be wondering, I’m also a realist. I know that praying for the best doesn’t mean it will happen in this life. I know most world conflicts are way more complex than I can even understand, and the history of hurt and injustice can run deep. I imagine I have wider political views than you may think, and I know governments or organizations alone can’t and shouldn’t solve everything. This post is meant to be a simple call for better, and I hope you can see that as you read.