Last week there was a video going around Facebook that addressed the beheading of twenty one "followers of the cross" as they were called by ISIS.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake...

I remember watching and realizing that my fear of a situation such as that had little to do with me and more the idea of my children facing that kind of terror and not being able to do anything to stop it for them.

That is a parent's heart...the heart of a mother. We want to protect our children from knowing that kind of relentless fear.

Then on Tuesday it was reported that ISIS had invaded a largely Christian populated village and kidnapped at least ninety people.

Including children.

My heart wept at the thought of the parents whose children are facing that kind of remorseless terror and they can do nothing to stop it. The reality is that death is close at hand for them in a way that I cannot completely grasp.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

And as I prayed, asking God to hear the cries of His people and to pour out His mercy and judgement in overwhelming abundance of each, I questioned what victory would look like.

An opposing army of military allies who would step in and battle back the dragon? A force of protection stronger and as unrelenting in it's defense of a people too vulnerable to defend themselves as the enemy that seeks to destroy?

I'm not arguing against this. Far from it. Please God may help come to these people!

For He who avenges blood is mindful of them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

But is that the God shaped victory we should really be praying for...yearning for? And if it's not, what does it look like?

I guess what I am asking is, is that enough? Do we call it a victory because we have stopped their suffering and put an end to the blood letting? Is it a victory because we can whisper quietly to ourselves that we ended it there so we must be safe here?

Maybe I am asking the wrong question though. Maybe it isn't a question at all. Maybe it is a matter of seeking justice when and where we are called too but all the while knowing that the enemy will rail against the One who made them. They will gnash their teeth and seek to destroy the ones who follow in His name as if they can rid themselves of His presence.

He sits in ambush in the villages; and in hiding places he murders the innocent...

Though their task is futile they will rise up against Him. And they will be vanquished and no more. And then another will come and rise up as yet more of His people proclaim He is King over all.

But in this we have hope,

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; 
He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, 
because they take refuge in Him.
Psalm 37: 39 & 40





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