[A dear Ukrainian friend from our Scripture Engagement multipliers network shares some thoughts.
She is faithfully walking alongside students and staff, studying the Bible with them and together they are caring for refugees of the conflict.]
It was a good reminder that God’s light has already eradicated darkness, and that He continues to be at work in our world. It is this truth that we need to experience, in the reality of our everyday lives, in this country.
On February 24th, people in Kharkiv, Kyiv, and other cities and villages woke up to the sound of their homes being bombed. In the days and months since, many innocent people have suffered in unimaginable ways. Men, women, and children of all ages have been killed or made homeless. They carry the scars of innumerable horrors with them: housewives and soldiers alike.
Kyiv suburb (photo by M.M).
Five million people left their homes looking for safety. Hearing stories of destruction and brutal terror from the refugees arriving in Lviv, we experienced shock and anger. We wept and called out to God with so many questions.
Just before Easter I woke up with a sudden anxiety attack. I tried to fall asleep, but all my worries intensified – what if our house was bombed and we had to flee: where would we go? What if my sons and husband were called up to fight? What if people were murdered in our city? And what if peace does not come soon?
That day, I spent a long time in silence, speaking with God.
I reflected on the last conversation Jesus had with His disciples in John 13-14, when He announced that He was to leave them.
Reading the disciples’ questions, I could almost feel their panic.
For three years, they were together: eating, laughing, seeing the miracles of Jesus. They listened to His teachings, experienced His power, and then, suddenly, Jesus was going to leave them – alone.
Faced with the anxiety of being without their Master, Healer, Teacher, and Prophet, the disciples wondered how they would cope. So, they asked where He was going and if they could follow Him there. One might say that they too had an anxiety attack.
“Believe in God, believe also in Me”- Jesus responded (John 14:1, see also 14:11-12).
That morning, I could almost see Jesus holding my hand and hear His voice telling me: ‘No, you do not understand all this suffering around you, the brutality and destruction your people are experiencing, just believe Me, believe in Me”. I continue to see God graciously giving me peace in my mind and calming my troubled heart. He gives me strength to continue walking the path He has laid out for me. I do not know the end, I just trust Him.