Do I trust God?
Do I trust God to be God with the events and realities of life today?
Even with something as complex as Afghanistan-Do I trust God, even with that?
We are either people who have faith in the unfailing faithfulness of God to be God or we are not. Can we trust God to be God and act in perfect accordance with His character and will, unfolding in the redemptive arc He draws over all over people, places and events? Yes.
So, as we consider the people, complexities, disappointments, grief, and contest over Afghanistan, we do so trusting in the reality of God’s redemptive arc over them all.
I confess that 20 years ago, in the earliest days of September 2001, I didn’t know 200,000 Afghans for whom I’d be willing to move heaven and earth, let alone shed American blood and invest untold amounts of earthly treasure. If you’re like me, those we once saw as enemies we now regard as closer than many of our own countrymen. Those we once perceived as posing a near existential threat we now describe as under such threat.
So, what’s changed? It’s more than just time. We literally got proximate to the people, the challenges, the generational poverty, the worldview of the people. We went – some of us sent our sons and daughters in uniform but all of us went as one nation to the aid of others. We saw. Journalists and regular people via social media, showed us, told us, what life is like. And we knew that by the very virtue of being our fellow image bearers, they deserved better.
We prayed for them and over time, our enemies became our friends. We entrusted ourselves to their hospitality. We relied on them to get us from one place to another, to feed our troops, to translate for our diplomats, to staff our NGO’s. Not that we might stay forever, but that they might become a people prepared for us to leave. — but not like this…
Afghanistan, is described as a land where empires go to die. But it is also a place where the best of our redemptive efforts have been on display, at great sacrifice, for 20 years.
Over two decades, we discovered a people who are precious; people who want the same things for their children we want for ours. People responsive to the Gospel and receptive of Biblical truth that God created us equally in His image as male and female. That’s the real conversation about educating girls, by the way. The “Western idea” that girls should be educated, that girls should learn to read and write and go to school, isn’t Western so much as it is Judeo-Christian. It grows out of the Biblical conviction that we are each and all created in the image of God.
And even as the geographical borders of Afghanistan close to Gospel missions, we trust God who, through our incarnational witness planted the Gospel in hearts and renewed minds by the gift of His Word. Trust this: the Gospel arc is advancing and there’s no stopping it.
We must trust God with and for the people in places we cannot go, in circumstances we cannot imagine. Put simply, either God has the whole world in the hallow of His hands or He is not God.
God’s got this. Let us declare our faith in His faithfulness. Let us speak today of His goodness. Let us appeal to Him for a fresh wind of His Spirit and particular evidences of His amazing, all sufficient grace. Indeed, THIS is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it – even as people in myriad places face challenging circumstances that test the veracity of the Gospel arc.
Trust God. There’s no stopping the Gospel. His Empire advances even now. His Kingdom has come and His Kingdom comes – Afghanistan is not beyond His concern nor beyond His reach. In fact, Afghanistan is under the redemptive arc of God’s unfurling grace.Trusting God even with Afghanistan