Stepping Into Suffering
For the past 2 months my home seems to be up in the air. Literally. 8 flights in the past 2 months. Not too shabby. My latest travels this month were to Texas and Israel!
Some of you may be aware, but my grandpa was diagnosed with a severe, aggressive and terminal liver cancer. The past 2 months have brought about rapid change for my family accompanied by lots of emotions. It didn't seem like good timing to now be leaving for Israel at a time when my family was walking through such a challenging season. As always though, our Father is in the business of redemption. In the midst of the wilderness (which I have now seen!) he is working. We just don't always know what He is up to. And many times it takes longer than we would like to be able to see just a piece of what He was/is doing.
Initially it just seemed like efficient planning. And it was. But as my family was losing a father and a grandfather, it also was God's provision. As God would have it, I would be in Houston twice in one month giving me the opportunity to be with my family. Once before I left for Israel, as the group I was going with was in Houston. Secondly, I was speaking at two Cru City events after I returned.
Earlier in the year, my team had reached out to Cru City, a group within Cru that is working with cities to create flourishing and Christ-centered laborers within the cities, to incorporate our justice work into their work. One of those cities was Houston. The Cru City Houston team asked me to speak to their young professionals group at two events about how I became involved in the fight against modern day slavery and what it means to step into the brokenness and suffering around us.
Over the past 2 years working with Cru and the Freedom 58 team, I have learned more and more what that means; to actually step into brokenness and suffering around us.
Today all kinds of suffering are around us. Death, pain, human slavery, economic distress, orphan children. The list goes on. But God steps into our suffering. Jesus stepped in saying "I understand. I have been human. I have experienced suffering, the ultimate suffering at that dying on the cross for the weight of the world, but I have overcome all suffering. I rose from death and will walk alongside you as you experience suffering."
God could have chosen any land but He chose Israel. He didn't call His people to be a world dominating empire. He didn't want people to rise over one another. He wanted His people to live with Him as their king and serve one another, to step into the suffering around them and point people towards the King who defeated death and suffering.
Thank you Lord. Thank you for your provision, for your constant redemption that causes us to continue to praise you through all seasons of life. And mostly, thank you for stepping into our suffering. May we be filled oh Spirit to do the same.