Hard Things

I’m searching for something snappy to say, something interesting.  But nothing comes.  The loudest voice in my head is the worried one.  If I try to steer my thoughts away from our friends’ prayer request, my mind is occupied for seven minutes or so, and then my thoughts snap back to the heaviness like a bungee cord.  So I just have to write what’s real for me this morning.

Yesterday we got an e-mail from our missionary friends in Niger, Africa.  The rains in their location have come so heavy this year that the river levels are rising.  Floods have destroyed the homes, crops, and livelihoods of many of their African friends.  This tragedy comes after a drought the previous year, which caused many to starve.

They are asking us to pray for the rains to cease.  They’re praying that the Lord would restore the meager fortunes of those who have put their hope in him, and now, once again, have nothing but him.  Our friends are sad, perplexed, exhausted.  Life is so hard there.  In some small way, we understand.  Life was also hard in India and we watched people suffer.

But when something like this happens, God’s people must pray.  They must petition him.  He tells us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us.  If you belong to him, would you take a moment to pray for the believers in Niger this morning?  Ask the Lord to give them shelter and provision.  Ask him to cover them with his love, like a mother hen covers her chicks with her outstretched wings.  And ask that they be granted the peace that passes understanding, both our brothers and sisters from Niger–and our missionary friends, who have to stand by and watch hard things happen.

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