In Nigeria, families await answers about their kidnapped girls. Daughters, sisters, cousins, friends have been kidnapped by terrorist groups and reportedly being sold to men as wives for $12. They were in school, they were kidnapped and have been treated as property. Their families have not seen their faces, touched their hands or heard their laughter in days. (For a link to an AP article, click here.)
Photo courtesy of Associated Press
What do we do with this? How do your respond? How do I respond?
Questions arise such as:
– Why isn’t anyone doing anything?
– How can they get away with this?
– What are they experiencing?
And here’s the biggie:
God, why are you not doing anything about it???
I remember reading the book Not for Sale a few years ago and not being able to finish. I threw the book across the room as the last story I had read was about mutilated women in Uganda. “God, why are you not doing anything about it?”
Even when I read stories where people are rescued or freed, I am grateful, yet I still ask the question, “God, why did you not do anything about it?”
And when I consider my own sufferings, I have to go there with the question of “Why?”
The pain is just too deep. The evil is just too deep. When we have these questions, whether for others or for ourselves, we need to GO THERE. We need to face these giants. We need to be honest with God and talk to him. It is not enough to ask him “Why?”, we need to give him time to give us a response. His common response to me has been his presence.
God does not answer my questions, He meets me. There is a difference.
In times like these, I do not often gain knowledge, I gain a deeper sense of God’s presence.
It the deepest of our being, it is not answers we need but a deeper sense of God’s presence.
Because here’s the thing, even if I knew why, would that suffice? Would an explanation be enough to make the evil in the world “good”? Would an answer bring back a loss, would an answer take away the repercussions of abuse? Knowledge won’t fully satisfy. I need a greater trust, a greater faith and a deepening of God’s love and presence.
Do I still pray for, give money to and try to help fight injustices however large or small? Yes. Do I still teach my children not to coerce or take advantage of others? Yes. I still do all these things and more. Yes, we still fight.
While we fight, we talk with God, we go there. As we do, he meets us. As he meets us may our prayers of freedom, justice and the halting of evil and violence continue. As he meets us may he meet the many who are trapped, abused, in horrific places under evil hands. May he give them a deep sense of his presence.
So our prayer today: God, free those Nigerian girls, bring them to safety and to their families. May they sense your presence deeply as they wait for rescue. Amen.