Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
In the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three opens up with the following phrase… To everything there is a season. What follows is a list of seasons showing both sides of what life has to offer. There is a time to be born and a time to die. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. Verses 2 through 8 capture what we inherently know… that life has seasons. We see it in the weather. We feel it in our lives. We know it as our careers progress and transition. We watch relationships fail and some marriages blossom. Yet, the reality is that no matter how much we know that there will be seasons, the rough ones are always the hardest to endure. And this week, many of us entered into a new season… and that is one of war.
Facing the Chaos
Now war has always been a part of human history. It may feel strange however, that in 2022, we are still talking about war when there are so many other crises already plaguing our planet. Nevertheless, where there is sin, there is restlessness. Peace cannot abound because chaos is required. Sin demands it. And this chaos will ensue until Christ returns. How do we know? Because when the disciples asked Christ what the signs of His coming would be, His answer included the following:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8)
If we believe this scripture to be true, then we understand that we are now facing the beginning of sorrows. What makes these times different is that chaos that we feel hasn’t taken any breaks. We’ve seen war and famine, but it’s the magnitude and the pace that let us know something has changed. Each new situation has been labeled as unprecedented. They continue to bring the loss of innocent lives, division within families, and unforeseen economic challenges. And now, we are in a time of war because of the decisions of one person and those who stood behind him. The events that have recently transpired and those that are to come will have a lasting impact around the world. To many, Ukraine may be far away, but soon enough, this situation won’t feel far away.
What is My Role?
And yet it can almost feel like a privilege to be able to have the space to care about situations that today, are of little interruption to our lives. For many of us, we are in a time of war in our own homes and our own lives. These situations require our attention because they impact our wellbeing. So much so, that we might ask ourselves – how can I worry about someone else when I need to worry about me or someone that I love? It’s important to be understanding to the fact that you, or I, may not have the bandwidth to operate as our brother’s keeper. Romans 15:1 says: We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
I am learning to exercise grace for those whose burdens are too heavy to carry, and the compassion to know when I have reached my own limits. Yet in our strength, in the moments where the weight of life has been lifted, if even for a moment, we are to be our brother’s keeper. Whether through prayer, donations, or other methods of help, if we can, we should, because that is what God has called us to do. James 4:17 reminds us: Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
A Time of Action
History is full of heart-breaking instances of the overreaching of power that has led to families being torn apart, communities ruined, and the wicked emboldened. We cannot turn a blind eye to these situations or cast them aside. If we are to love others the way we love ourselves, then we must be willing to do for others what we would need done for ourselves. My prayers are with the people of Ukraine and of Russia. Innocent lives are on both sides. Whatever power we have to make a positive difference in this situation, or any other situation around the world or at home, we should do it. Love is an action, and it’s time… that we act.Print This Devotional