Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tonight's insight

I've been having a problem lately with internet stories that I hear and can't follow up. These aren't the urban legend stuff, but rather stories about particular children or families who have been affected by tragedy, much like the Australian blogger who had been separated from her husband by the horrific wildfires down there.

Tonight at supper, I talked for a while to our youth pastor's wife. She and her husband just adopted a child from China. I've been following their story on their blog, as well as from updates we receive at church. Recently she posted a link to pictures of other children in China who are awaiting adoption. I wanted to adopt them all! She said she knew how I felt.

I told her about a blog post I had seen with a link to a video about a couple of small children in Africa. These children had polio, which had left them paralyzed from the waist down. They were just lying in the sun, on the dirt, in the middle of a very small village. No one seemed to be interested in them or their needs. Then a third child, who appeared to be a little older than the two, showed up with a bucket of water. She had walked over two miles to fetch back some water so that she could bath the two children, who were her brother and sister. She carefully washed them and then put their clothes back on them.

The folks who made the video found out that this older child was only 8 years old. Why she was the one who was responsible for the care of these children, we don't know. What they did at night, if they had a home where they were taken in, we don't know. The film crew were investigating the details and were going to see to the care of the children. I told my son in law about this video this past weekend. He said there were many children like that in his home country.

Folks, my heart is hurting from seeing stories like these. I told the pastor's wife that sometimes I think the internet is a curse! I get worried about these little folks, and there is NOTHING I can do for them. So very, very sad. She told me she felt internet was useful, as it allowed us to know about things like this--and maybe there was something we could do.

Then, at prayer time, I had what I call a revelation. By feeling so helpless in this situation, I was limiting the power of God. I felt God could only do what I was able to help him do, that if I could not help him physically in this situation, there was nothing He could do. Me, the one who is always talking about how we mustn't limit God to our human abilities! It dawned on me that when I prayed for these children, God used my prayers to help them. He found workers around them, much like the big sister with the bucket of water and the film crew, to meet their needs. Maybe the reason I am seeing all these things now is that God wants me to be more of a prayer warrior and NOT to doubt His ability to meet the needs of His children!

Anyway, that's my take on the matter. I still want to know what happened to the woman in Australia, the children in Africa, and if the children in China will be adopted, but I also know that I can pray for them and all the other little children and hurting folks in the world. That the power of prayer is much greater than my human appreciation of it.

I will keep praying, and never doubt God. Love to all, and God bless.


Mrs. Allroro said...

I like the book "Operation World, Pray for the World: When We Pray, God Works" (I think I got the last part right). Anyway, it is set up like a calendar and has countries listed alphabetically and includes information about demographics but also has prayer requests for each of the countries included, and also recent praises. The version I have is from 2000, I think, and I don't know if there is a new one yet. I love it. I think Everett gave me this one and the one I had before it. At least I think he recommended them to me. Anyway, at least you might feel more useful in your prayers!

Another thing I've heard a lot of people say they really enjoy is giving to some type of Christian world children's aid organization. I think there's one called Compassion INternational, but that might be the one where you "adopt" a specific child and your money goes toward that child. I don't know if that's the kind of thing you're looking for. Anyway, if you are feeling concerned in that way and are looking for an outlet for monetary giving, you might look into that organization. I think there's a charity supported by the IMB that targets world hunger. I can't think of the name of it, but I think you know missionaries who have worked for it, maybe.

Everett said...

I like Psalm 46 in this context.
"Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
'Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.'"

His work is not dependent on us, so we can be still and not worry about how these things will be acheived. But he stirs up our spirits to compassion and lets us play too in his redemption and salvation of the world.

At our retreat this weekend another leader and I got to pray for a student who was upset about kids who didn't have a great family life like he did but he couldn't do anything about it. We prayed for him that he would be more eager to pray for those he couldn't help, since God could. But the other leader also prayed that the student would do the little things he could do, like smile at them and let them know he cared, and not sell those things short because they also could be part of touching someone in pain.
Likewise, when you can do nothing else, you never know but that a blog post might move someone who can.