Two Sundays ago, Paul and the Adult Sunday School class were diving into Micah 2, and reading His words listing out the horror of injustice:
Lately my people have risen up
like an enemy.
You strip off the rich robe
from those who pass by without a care,
like men returning from battle.
You drive the women of my people
from their pleasant homes.
You take away my blessing
from their children forever.
Yet we found respite as we moved along the passage that there is deliverance promised. A Shepherd.
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture;
the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
the LORD at their head.”
Then we moved on to the passage in Ezekial 34: 11-16
“‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
How timely to read these 2 passages back to back especially in this present time. URGENT prayer requests were sent out last week, in return I received a few heartfelt responses which I believe the Lord moved their hearts and broke the floodgates of their compassion for this nation. To one of the emails, I replied:
I believe your tears are not something that simply comes out of a soft and emotional heart, but indeed it’s His tears showing to you a piece of His broken heart for such a broken nation, and broken people. It challenges my faith every day that if I choose to turn away and not fight continuously, who am I to be called the follower of Jesus, when He commands us to take care of the widow and the orphan, the fatherless and the oppressed. Where am I when He looks?? What I am doing to respond to His invitation? What am I going to do about it??
Let me encourage you that yes, in this ministry, there involves a lot of grief (no question about it!) yet it often comes with a lot of joy!! The Joy that is far beyond human adventure, or earthly possession, or comforts found around us. But the JOY of seeing and experiencing the God that we believe in and we serve is truly ONE true living God who doesn’t stay aloof and stay away from our trials and broknessness in this world but actively working in redemption and restoration.
As you encourage me so much through prayers and concerns shown, let me encourage you by sharing this story of a girl. You will understand why I won’t let the enemy’s scheme to steal our “child” away and kill my hope and faith in our Lord Jesus. All the more it only continues to fuel the intensity in my heart to pray more fervently, to pray through fire in the lion’s den, that our prayers are like shooting fire arrows, dashing across to the heart of torture and darkness. When we pray with a faith like that, indeed such faith can move mountains, the enemy will shriek and run in terror, that they could no longer strike terror onto our little ones.
We had seen it before … a girl being known by many, suddenly got snatched away for 2 long years. She knows the Lord, she has strong faith in Christ, she was only 12 years old. For 2 years she was gone, no one knew where she was. 2 years later, she was found, rescued, after years of being in rehab, she met one of our staff. She is poised, well spoken, confident, a sparkle found in her eyes, solid and strong in faith, and offered to pray for the food. A powerful and powerful prayer she delivered. Little did we know that in those 2 years, only Lord Jesus can preserve her faith and build her faith like never before. Now one of our aftercare programs is named after her and another girl, depicting that “One is found, One is still lost!”
I am claiming the very same thing for ours, I have high hope in our “little one” that nothing and no one from darkness can take away the faith that He founded in her. And that when she is finally free, she will be a testiment of how powerful our Lord Jesus is and that nothing can deny this is the God of Justice and why we choose to follow Him, not because we will be immuned from suffering, but that when suffering comes, we are given grace and mercy and His strength to combat it and to endure it and to stay strong in Him knowing that Lord Jesus in the time of His immense suffering on the cross, it is also the most glorious moment!! Such a paradoxical and mysterious promise!!
I thank you sooo much for joining me in praying and fasting!! It places so much weight on the deepness and urgency on our hearts to see into this little girl being rescued. We will continue to do so for her until the day that I know she is completely safe. She is to me like an estranged mother who will never give up on her own daughter!
I am thanking for your partnership in this. This is not lighthearted stuff, and I thank you for not turning your eyes away.
We may not see the physical evidence of His work all the time, yet we believe HE IS WORKING vigorously!! All He is asking us is for us to stand in the gap for every battle.
Grateful for your solidarity and partnership in Christ!
I wrote it out in one continual momentum of thankfulness. Does it sound strange that I am immensely encouraged by my own words as this is not simply an email response, but the conviction of my heart and my faith. Again, if there weren’t for the hope of Christ, I know not how to continue with it another way for another day! It stays true because it is true! Since I know not to continue another way for another day, I will continue and perserve this way day after day after day!