Today our nation faces one of those moments of decision that can have far-reaching implications for Americans all over the globe. Our government is trying to decide whether or not to use military action in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons against her own citizens.
War is a horror in all its forms, but chemical attacks are especially so. I remember chemical warfare training from my years as active duty military, and I remember the shocking descriptions and sickening pictures of the injuries caused by chemicals. When I think of those weapons used against whole communities, families with children, I think "action must be taken"!
And yet I am not eager to step into a conflict where each side has committed inexcusable atrocities. Neither side has much to commend it, and I'm concerned we could quickly find our nation pulled deeper and deeper into a situation with no foreseeable solution. There is so much conflict in the world, and all of it due to a failure to live as God calls us to. It can get very discouraging.
But even when we are weary of tension and weary of conflict, when hope is running low, we can find reassurance in the knowledge that God really is in control of world events. In Luke 21, speaking of the days prior to his return, Jesus tells us: "When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." So none of this is a surprise to God, none of it upsets his plans. While we must pray for peace and pray for wisdom on the part of world leaders, we must also take to heart the words Jesus gives us just a few verses later: "So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!"Â Our strength comes from the knowledge that things will not always be as they are now. Let us allow that strength to be the foundation from which our prayers for peace and healing rise to the ear of God Almighty.