The Christian and the Refugee Crisis (A Reminder….to me!)
Today a thousand Facebook arguments were fought over the issue of refugees, specifically the Syrians. People were unfriended and the angry emoticons were thoroughly used. Where has this gotten us? Are we any closer to the completion of the Great Commission and the return of Jesus then we were this morning or are we simply just satisfied that our online opponents were no match for our superior knowledge and superb debating skills?
I don’t often post on Facebook but yesterday evening I had had enough of what I determined were ignorant and fear-based posts regarding something dear to me…so I posted what was on my heart. Shortly after hitting “post”, my heart-felt comments were met with a barrage of equally strong heart-felt comments and soon we were tumbling in to the black hole of internet debates.
My reason for writing this short blog is not to expand on that debate, or even defend my position. No, it’s much more important than that. As I was getting ready for bed I was talking with the Lord about the refugee crisis, about our homeless outreach on Thursday and about the people that really bugged me today (and I’m sure others are doing the same about me!). His response was so gentle and sweet and so very refreshing. “Fix your eyes on me“, He said. “Don’t worry about the refugee crisis or the homeless ministry…fix your eyes on me”.
I am so quick to focus on a problem and want to figure out how to fix it in my own strength. When I do this, these are the times when people with opposing views really drive me crazy (and I assume I have the same effect on them).
But this refuge crisis is HUGE. I mean, it’s so much bigger than I think we can imagine…And the homeless we work with on the streets this week…the need…it’s overwhelming at times.
“Fix your eyes on me.”
The words of Jesus are so simple yet so powerful. So binding yet so freeing. So much death yet so full of life.
Hebrews 12 (paraphrased a bit): Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart… Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed…Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many…You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire…But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel…Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
I’m confident in the calling that God has given us to minister to the refugee from the other side of the world as well as the homeless Vet living on the streets of Boise. However, if that is my focus then all is lost. I will forever be frustrated at the fruit (or lack thereof) and all of the people that should be helping but are not.
But if my eyes are fixed on Jesus…who sits at the right hand of God…who is giving me a kingdom that cannot be shaken, then there is no man’s opinion, no scheme of the enemy, no world-wide crisis that can keep me from completing the tasks God has put before me.
And so as I get ready for bed this evening I end this day with my eyes on my Savior who desires a relationship with me and who entrusts me with carrying out His mission. Wow, what a life we live!
And I would ask you to do the same thing. “Fix your eyes on Jesus” and as we do that together we will know exactly how to handle the Syrian crisis and every other circumstance that comes our way. Let us unite as one body for the sake of our King!