Responding to the Horror that is ISIS
On Sunday, David and I slept in. We skipped church because we had too much fun dancing the night away at a gorgeous wedding Saturday evening and, well, Sunday was one of those chilly, overcast days when your supposed to stay in your jammies until the afternoon.
After brunch at our favorite spot, we snuggled on the couch and turned on the television. I was casually flipping through Twitter when I saw them.
21 men in orange jumpsuits.
My stomach lurched as my mind processed the words in my Twitter feed. It was the horrific video released by ISIS of the mass beheadings of Egyptian Christians on the beach near Tripoli. I only saw a iPhone-sized photo of 21 men on their knees, heads hung low and hearts brave. There in my cozy home, I wasn’t even courageous enough to click the link next to the photo.
My immediate reaction was one of panicked fear. What is happening to the world? Could ISIS find me?
The second was a cavernous guilt. I couldn’t even inconvenience myself to go to church this morning, and these men are brave enough to die for their faith? How did I get so lucky to be born in a place where I’m comfortable and safe?
Then I got pissed. Who the hell do these ISIS people think they are? How could someone be so vile and heartless?
Honestly, I don’t know how to react to such depravity. A big part of me wishes I could ignore it all. Horrific persecution is really not a fun thing to think about.
But, we can’t ignore it. So how do we react when our brothers in Christ are beheaded?
Ann Voskamp posted an amazing article on this awful wake-up call that is ISIS. I’m grateful for her beautiful reminder of our responsibility to love freely and pray continually.
“And wherever the People of the Cross are, we will remember every one of The 21’s names because they did not forget Him or forsake His name. We will pray for their families because they are our literal family, and we will pray for their murderers because the Cross that’s rescued us, is big enough, powerful enough, loving enough to rescue anyone who reaches for its redeeming grace.”
Will you join me in praying for the persecuted church, the families of the 21 men who lost their lives, and even for our enemies at ISIS?
We give thanks.
We have so much to be thankful for and the atrocities overseas should remind us to be grateful for our blessings.
- The ability we have as Americans to worship freely
- Our loved ones and the time we have left with them
- Christ’s victory on the Cross
- The bravery of our 21 Egyptian brothers
- Our current safety
What else can you add to that list? Will you take time today to thank God for your freedom, security, loved ones, and countless other blessings?
We get brave.
Y’all, this is not a surprise. But there is great hope.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
This life is about much more than cozy Sunday mornings in our jammies. We were never promised comfort, or even safety. We were promised victory.
So, let’s be brave. Let’s be courageous enough to finish this fight well — with brave love, unwavering faith, and radical obedience.
I’ll let my girl, Jennie Allen explain what I’m talking about:
“Now let me tell you what I know. Our God is real. Our God is coming. Our God has plans for us. Our lives are short. We must get after it. Because heaven is coming fast. And what we are about to do here is urgent. It’s more urgent than we could ever imagine. We get to play little parts in the epic story of a God who put this whole universe in motion with a word.” ― Jennie Allen, Restless: Because You Were Made for More
Are you living purposefully for Cross? In what areas of your life do you need to be brave?
Forget the fear, guilt, and anger. Let’s be prayerful, grateful, and brave.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35