A Country Under Fire
America is currently under fire due to the decision in the Michael Brown Case. Many are heartbroken, enraged, confused, and out of sorts. I am one of them. Many have marched, protested, spoken, and prayed. I am also one of them. Nonetheless, here we are in the wake of a brutally honest decision that in many ways reflect the overall consensus about race in this country. As I watch the news, I feel somewhat disconnected from my body as a part of me sits high on a ledge just observing. No one has the right to take a life, especially from someone unarmed with their hands up. To hear a police officer say that he has a clear conscience and that he would even do it again in referring to his killing of a teenager, lays a heavy burden upon my heart. I start to even panic a little and question myself. Is my brother safe to go off to college? I pray no one is intimidated by his 5’8 frame and afro. Will his hoodie intimidate someone? Is his deliberate way of speaking enough to get him into a compromising position with law enforcement?
In further examining this case, I am forced to pray for peace not just in my country but within my own spirit. I am riddled with so many emotions, I thought to write a usual devotion but my spirit would not allow it. The Bible says that Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Jesus said in a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming. (Luke 18:1-8 NIV) As a people united, black people, white people, yellow people, brown people, and oppressed people we must take heart to pray. However we must also have the persistence of that widow in the city; we must continue to protest, pray, and come to God. Regardless of the outcome God is faithful and He will act. Remember injustice done to any human being is intolerable in the eyes of God.
Oppression and bondage are not new themes in life that God has had to remedy. Many people feel that this situation that we find ourselves in as a country is too big or great for God. I have seen posts on social media that mention to the effect that prayer will not be able to fix what is broken. To this I say, from personal experiences that nothing is too great for God. God can, will, and has moved mountains. He delivered African Americans from the bondage of slavery, but that Emancipation Proclamation was not the end of God’s work. We are in our desert just as the Jews of Israel were and we must choose which direction to move into. Many black people at this time have realized that uniting and becoming on one accord is the only way to see that injustice and racism be halted in America. These measures are not just amazing they are biblical. So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:1-30 ESV) In uniting to boycott the systems that oppress and seek to break down minority groups we can see to that our hearts desire of equality are met.
We must keep our faith, we must pray, we must not lose heart. We must have a spirit of peace and determination to overcome and to persevere through to guarantee ourselves and future generations a right to live freely. We must guard our spirits and reject the violence of oppressors. This is not an us against them mindset that breeds hate, but rather a people for human rights which breeds love. Even though honestly, it is so hard for me to love right now, I know in my heart it is the only way. If we continue to remain in peace demonstrating the love of God within us even those who do not fear God, and even those who have no respect for men will give us justice so that we will not continually come. In times like this, I assure you God is always close to the broken hearted and exhausted. Go to him and He will surely give you rest and peace in your spirit. In this way He is truly the only one who can truly deliver this situation. Those faithful know this to be true, when human efforts have fallen short, when we have done even the very best that we can, God is able and He will see to the righteous prevail. Keep faith stay in prayer.
Lastly, the Bible says, Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 NIV).