A Conflicted Refugee

This pondering might incite disagreement – that is not my intention, but so be it if it does happen.

I have to honestly tell you that I am conflicted with this whole refugee crisis.  The whole conversation that politicians from both sides of the isles are having.  The whole debate within the Christian Church about where they stand.  I. am. conflicted.

parisI get that we don’t want to experience what Paris has just horribly experienced.  I understand that terrorists wish us harm.   I know that we must protect our families and our communities…and we must.  BUT, (and here’s where the “conflicted” part comes in”) does this mean we completely shut our borders and treat every man, woman and child as a suspect of terror?  -No.

I don’t think anyone is saying that we shouldn’t be careful.
I don’t think this debate is about if terrorists exist – because they do.
I think this debate is about safety as well as judgement.
But here comes the element that sometimes can be missed within the whole conversation about refugees – COMPASSION.

times.jpgSome might argue that if we allow refugees (because of compassion) to come into our country, we will also allow terrorists in as well.  This can be a valid point, and I get why some are calling for stiffer screenings, but we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people…  Others have argued that their state will flat out refuse to accept any refugees, citing that this is why/how the Paris attack happened.

This is where I am conflicted. 
I don’t have many answers, just a pondering about the whole topic in regards to people who have been displaced from their homes and homeland.  I do not wish to be snarky about it – as some people have been from both political spectrums… (it has truly been discouraging and sad to witness).   But, something has to be done.
spectrum
On one side, we ought to fight for the lives of the innocent regardless of where they were born (they didn’t get to choose where they live).  If you are a believer of social justice then you can’t help but be moved with compassion for the plight of the innocent regardless of ideology.  If we have the resources to protect, defend and actually DO SOMETHING other than protect our own interests – then we should feel compelled to act on the behalf of the innocent throughout our world.

On the other side, we should be reminded that terrorists like those found in ISIS will attempt to infiltrate and disguise themselves by surrounding themselves with innocent people – this is not a new strategy, albeit a deplorable one.  We ought to be vigilant while facing this crisis with compassion.

borders.jpgDo I feel we should completely close our borders to those who wish to make a home within our free country?  NO.  Do I believe all who come to this country should follow the same procedure to citizenship through education and understanding?  Yes.

For those seeking safe refuge from war and militant beliefs – I say we welcome them in.

The debate within this refugee crisis should also consider what happens to those who are shut out and are not welcomed…does this/could this push people to identify with militant extremist groups as well?

And what of the Christian Church? 
church.jpgWhat is their part to play in all of this?
We ought to remain a moral compass – not political, but one who fights for the innocent, ones who help to cast the light of hope into hopeless situations and lives broken by war, hunger and loss.  In other words, we ought to do all we can for God’s Kingdom here on earth to share love, hope and compassion.   We ought to continue to fight for the innocent, and to share this amazing love with all the world – so that Christ might become evident and lives can be saved.

I am conflicted, but not on the need to share compassion and grace.
We continue to pray for the people in Paris, and other regions of our world where terror is still evident.  We know that everyone of us will reap what we sow…please continue to pray for our world leaders, Church leaders and for Christians in our world facing martyrdom for their faith, because they will not be silent in declaring Christ Jesus as Lord.

Something more to ponder today.

To God be the glory!

“Finding Refuge”

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  “Selah” -Psalm 46:1-3

How are you today?
Do you feel beat up, crushed, broken and worn out?
How is your spirit?
Are you running on empty today?

There is much in the world that never seems to turn out right.
There is so much pain and suffering in our world!
Sometimes I feel as if this world is hopeless and that evil has won.
Sometimes I turn on the tv and hear news stories or genocides, terror, natural disasters, political tensions and it all just seems to inundate our lives.  Is this all that we are?  With all of our progressive science and medicines and technologies we still see death, famine, disease and death.

Some would say that this is just life, they way it has always been.
I’m not happy with that simplistic answer.   It seems too apathetic to me, too jaded.
Innocent die every day in every corner of the world, and we could compartmentalize this and say, “well at least it’s OVER THERE, and not here…”  Really?  Are we not all human?  Are we not all connected to the very fabric of what makes us live on this earth?  I don’t presume to have the answers to the sickness of our world, but I do know that there is refuge.  I do know that there is hope.  I do know that we can must rise above this existence!

Finding the Strength to overcome? 
It comes from God – “God is our refuge AND strength...” (Psalm 46:1)
Is God something evident in our lives today?
Are we relying on His strength?
Is He accessible to you?
Do you call out to Him in your desire to find refuge from your problems, sickness and fears?

He is our ever-present help in times of trouble! (Psalm 46:1)
When we recognize Him for who He is, we can find the strength and courage to overcome.
When we seek out His refuge in our lives, it makes all the difference in the world.
In fact the writer of this particular Psalm states that even if the earth gives way and everything crumbles before us we don’t have to fear.  Why?  Because God is near.  God will be our strength.  God will be our refuges. The creator of the very earth that is crumbling before our feet is there to offer His help to us.

I don’t know what is going on in your life today, but I do know that there is a mighty God who wants to be included in it!  He wants to be your guide, your refuge, and your strength!  If you’re seeking refuge the deluge of life today, look no further…because God is there!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help me in my day to day, moment by moment.  Help me with the problems that I am facing today.  You know my situations and I am seeking refuge in your loving arms!  Grant me peace, allow me to feel your strength and guidance just now.  In your Holy name I pray these things.  -Amen.

Something more to ponder today, He can and will be your refuge in your times of trouble…do you trust Him?
God bless!

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