Not long ago I received an urgent prayer request from a friend who was serving in Afghanistan. Her co-worker and friend was killed and her Afghan guard beheaded in Kabul. Another friend was still missing and was suspected to be kidnapped.
She has since been evacuated and is undergoing a time of healing and restoration.
She had been serving in a difficult place for only a few years, but her eyes had seen many difficult things. There were deaths of staff and people she knew, friends whose compounds and workplaces had been attacked, and some were evacuated. She faced challenging team dynamics and life with restrictions, just to name a few.
It was a big adjustment for her from living and growing up in a comfortable country, to serving in a restricted and dangerous place.
She left her home country with much faith, enthusiasm and hope. But there was a period when she was so down and could not write to anyone at all. It was difficult for her to share and find someone who could understand.
Many questions filled her mind, and she found herself questioning God –“Why did God allow people to suffer, to die? Why did He allow war and violence? Could He not have intercepted? Was my faith insufficient? Did I not believe and called upon the living God? Did He not hear my prayers?”
She found it difficult to go to God because she felt that she did not hear the answers she wanted to hear.
But she can always find His love and grace and mercy in God.
I was encouraged by her sharing on how God spoke to her from 1 Corinthians 3.
When she was a baby, God gave her milk. Now that she was older, He desired that she takes solid food, not milk.
When she first became a Christian, she prayed and God provided everything for her. God showed her who He was – loving Father, Provider, Healer, peace.
Now that she was older, she learnt that the Christian faith was not about asking God for things, even if they were good things, like blessings or the salvation of men.
Our faith is about God Himself. To know Him, to seek Him, to do His will, not ours.
It is not easy. But do we still choose to trust Him – even when it is difficult? Even when there are no answers? When things don’t go our way, when they go awfully wrong – do we still choose to trust and obey Him?
We may be in comfortable Singapore, but life may be throwing lemons, darts or even arrows at you. Have we grown in our faith to be able to see God as who He is? Even when the arrows are flying, can we still praise Him? Follow Him? Love Him?
May God have mercy on us, and help us to keep trusting, hoping and persevering on in the faith, despite the circumstances, knowing that He is there, and we have a sure hope in Him.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Sister Cherlyn Oh