The other day I got an update from a friend of mine working in the Middle East with Muslims. They were sharing that with the great upheaval going on many Muslims are desperate for something other. For some it means fighting and dying in jihad so they can go to heaven, but for others they are looking at Jesus. My friend has been working in the Middle East with Muslims for 20 years and now there is the biggest response to the gospel he has seen.
In the beginning of Luke’s gospel there is a story of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. When Elizabeth sees Mary, she blesses her (1:42-45). Mary’s response starts with the idea of rejoicing in God (1:46-47). Mary rejoices because God is doing something special and she is a part of it. There is a great joy when we are aware that we are a part of what God is doing.
Sometimes I feel like it is hard to see God doing anything great around me. At times like this it is difficult for me to see things in a positive light. It can be hard to find my joy. However when I get updates from old friends and hear of what God is doing, and I know that I have been a very small part in what they are doing; it makes it easier to get back in touch with that Joy.
It leaves me asking myself, what else is God doing that I’m not seeing? Do I get too caught up with the negative news around? Does that leave me feeling like I do not want to look for God’s hand at work? How can I take steps to stay within God’s joy?
It also leaves me asking myself, how I can pray for those working in hard places?