In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus, (I Thess. 5:18).
Today’s text was sent to me by Byron and Emily Johnson. Byron grew up in our church and his parents are good friends. He and his wife Emily are missionaries. I’m not sure what went through their minds when God called them to the mission field, but they might have felt they were being called to a place where people needed to hear about Jesus, but was relatively safe. So they went…to the Ukraine! Recently, Bryon’s young teen-age sister, Blythe, joined them to get a missions experience. I don’t think this is what she had in mind!
Today’s text came with a note asking for prayer. Although they are not in Kiev or the Crimea, the entire country is on edge, as you can imagine. In an email to Byron’s parents they outlined an “evacuation” plan, if things get worse in their part of the country. They plan to stay and minister to people until it is obvious they need to leave. They asked for prayer for the people of the Ukraine.
Most of us will face some kind of pressure or difficulty today. But it probably won’t be of the intensity of the one the Johnson’s are facing. The question we can all ask ourselves is whether in the midst of our struggle we will be able to give thanks. I need help remembering to thank God for the good things in my life, much less the hard things. Of course, as the text says, sometimes the hard things are the good things.
How about putting a “U” on your hand today and when you see it, pray for the Ukraine. Pray for Bryon, Emily, and Blythe that they will be safe and God will use their faith in Jesus as a blessing to a people in extremely difficult circumstances. And as you do, give thanks for whatever circumstance you find yourself in today.