A Plea for Syria
I woke earlier this week to horrific images of innocent men, women and children dying in the streets of a Northern Syrian town. Some of the images were too graphic to stomach. But the deeper horror and revulsion is that this kind of evil still exists in our world today—perhaps more than ever.
One image, though, broke my heart more than the others. It was eerily serene. A young father sat in a car, holding his two 18-month-old twins. In any other situation, it was a sweet photo of a new father with his precious children, asleep in his arms. But on deeper study, the father was in agony and the twins were dead.
The attached article went on to recount how the man lost his wife, parents, cousins—his entire family. When they heard the planes overhead they ran out of their apartment building to escape any danger of collapse, but this decision led them straight into the path of a chemical that causes excruciating death.
How does one cope with this kind of evil?
To be honest, there are times I cry out to God, “When will enough be enough?!!!” But there is a deeper narrative at work here. In the midst of unspeakable evil is a God who desperately wants to redeem people from the brokenness of this world.
The Scripture tells us that He is not willing that even one of us should perish. The character of Jesus is to pursue one lost sheep deep into the wilderness to rescue it from a world bent on its destruction. That is why God is still bearing with the evil of this planet—there are still those who need a chance to meet Him and find hope even in horror.
But here’s the rub. There are still more than 2.5 billion people who haven’t heard the gospel—most of them in places like Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Afghanistan…. The list goes on.
When I looked at the precious faces of those little twins I couldn’t help but weep over the world my own grandchildren, all about the same age, are going to inherit.
But I know this: If we, as followers of Christ, don’t amp up our efforts to make His name known, the people living in darkness may never see His light. Now I realize that we’re not the Holy Spirit, and He can reveal Jesus however He sees fit.
At the same time, we have been given a command to be His witnesses to ends of the earth—yes, even Syria—now more than ever.
By Steve Johnson