Middle East: When God's Ways are a Mystery

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deut 29:29

As our team heads home, we are filled with gratitude for all we saw and did. The Father is always good, even when his ways are such a mystery. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God." We don't know why He had ordained such an event as the greatest refugee crisis in the world today. But we trust that He has a hidden plan. Our team experienced a taste of his plan for a greater good. We caught a glimpse of it when:

  • we packed hundreds of food portions that are meant to feed a family of six for one month. We did this alongside brothers who themselves have lost family members and have had to flee from war.
  • we distributed food to refugees who waited patiently for hours.
  • we visited homes of hurting families, hearing their stories of desperation and praying with them and sharing the good news.
  • we taught refugee children of all ages, songs of our faith and stories from the Bible. 
  • we grew to know and love our partners, walking alongside them for a few brief moments and learning of their own passion to rescue these hurting people. 
Through these rich experiences we learned that God is at work in ways that we may never fully comprehend. He is transforming lives and reconciling former enemies like only He can. His gospel is good. It is powerful.  It is freedom.  

And yet in the midst of these glimpses of his plan, there is still so much we do not understand.  His ways are a mystery. The stories of suffering can be unbearable. And for every refugee that has been touched by Christ's love through the body, there are dozens more who have never heard the gospel. There are 1.5 million refugees in one country alone. The secret things belong to the Lord our God indeed. 

"But the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever..." what about that which has been revealed?  What is revealed that we must know, even now in the midst of these troubled times, both in the Mid East and at home?  We remember from His Word that:

  • Christ will be exalted among the nations (Psalm 46:10).
  • Christ will finally judge the nations for the evil that mankind has perpetrated (Ps 2:10-12).
  • God is willing that none should perish, but is ready to pour out his mercy on even the most vile sinner who repents (2 Peter 3:9).
  • God instructs us that we are his mouthpiece, his ambassadors to the nations (Rom 10:14, 2 Cor 5:20).
  • Christ commands us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). 
  • Christ instructs us that the task is finished when some from every tribe, tongue, and nation become true worshipers of God (Matthew 24:14, Rev 7:9).
Does any of this matter to us in our daily, self-absorbed lives?

"...that we may do all the words of this law."  
Are we living in obedience to all of God's Word or just the convenient parts?

It is my prayer that as our team returns home, we will daily live under the authority of the revelation of God found in his Word.  
It is my prayer that as you read this, you too will dive into His sweet kingdom living with no reservations. The water is deep.  It is oh-so refreshing.  It never ends.  

There is much to be done before His mission is complete. Christ's kingdom is unshakeable, but it is costly.  He demands everything from his subjects--even our very lives.  But there is no greater soul satisfaction than living for the one who made us, who rescued us from our own misery and death, and who sends us out to rescue others. 

"Blessed are all who take refuge in him."  (Psalm 2:12b)