Here’s a little confession to get your Friday started off right: I’ve had a tab open on my computer for almost a week with the guitar chords for ‘My Heart Will Go On’ on it… just waiting to have time to try out Celine Dion, acoustic style. Whew, so glad I got that off my chest.
So, I like to pray for people, but I can’t pray for everyone everyday. I mean, I could, but I think my prayer life would get pretty stagnant. So, I divide them up by category and pray for different group every day. Today is Friday, the day that I pray for freedom for the captives around the world.
Today, I found myself asking God to be present with every woman, child, and man who are enslaved today. Then I got on a small thought bunny trail, That’s a big prayer, but God is a big God. He can handle that. He can be present with everyone who has been oppressed at the same time. He could set them all free right now if He wanted to… wait. He does want to.
Then the thought that I get ashamed of every time if pops into my head came back, doesn’t He want to? Why hasn’t he, yet? Why has this gone on so long?
Here’s what I think. 1) Faith without any doubts probably isn’t very strong because it’s never had to survive the fires of uncertainty. So this whole doesn’t God want to set the captives free? thought is a good thing. 2) God could set people free all by himself, right now, but I think He’s using us instead.
Think about that. God could do this independently. He could loosen all chains right at this moment. He could have done it ages ago, but He’s using the church. He’s asking us to be a part of it. He’s saying, Here’s something that is so horribly wrong, this injustice against My children. It breaks my heart, but I want it to break yours. I want to break your heart for them and use you to set them free so that your heart and the hearts of captors and those who were ignorant of this injustice before will see how horribly people have been treated and never let it happen again.
I don’t have a scripture to back that up, but I have this sense deep down in my soul that God isn’t acting with his mighty power to break the chains instantly because He wants to partner with us, so that we will learn how to treat each other, not abusing our power or gaining power by hurting other people.
It isn’t because He’s not good, because He is. It isn’t because the problem isn’t massive and urgent and incredibly important, because it is.
How long will it take? How long will we live comfortably while other people live in chains? How long will we say that it doesn’t affect us, even though no country in the world is unaffected? How long will be allow other people to be oppressed? How long will we be the oppressors? How long will it take for us to care and take action?
How long, church? How long?