I wrote these words during my retreat at Lake Burton, Georgia, USA on 5th November 2021. Exactly four months later, I am sharing my thoughts. While it might be very difficult to walk through tough, challenging times, the truths of Scripture often compel us to embrace the suffering and still find great joy. The fellowship of Christ must never be missed or taken for granted in such moments.
I am reminded of the apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 1:5 "For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too". The greatest comfort is the knowledge and experience of Christ's presence during the time of suffering. In the image below, you will see that I have included the two special flowers, both are national flowers of two nations in my mind now: the chamomile represents Russia and the sunflower represents Ukraine.
Regardless of how the world may be divided and take sides of the current situation of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, both nations will lose their loved ones. Both will incur hefty losses of life, possessions and perhaps, even their souls. No Christian can stand aside and clap their hands in glee because one nation's military planes got shot down or vehicles got burned. No one can take comfort in another nation's buildings crumbling due to bombings or people fleeing for their lives.
Our responsibility is to continue to pray according to the Holy Spirit's guidance and God's commands to pray for leaders - the physical peace in the nations is dependent on our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Amidst much suffering, may both nations and all others in conflict find their comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Much Shalom to you,