Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Thank God for Kayla Mueller!
I thank God for Kayla Mueller. The newscasts of today are reporting her death at the hands of the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. She was taken captive while trying to help the refugees in Syria near the border with Turkey.
In the last letter to her parents, smuggled out of her prison by her cellmates, Kayla wrote,
“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator because literally there was no else….plus, by God, plus by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.”
I know very little about Kayla and had never heard of her until she was kidnapped, and then only after a lengthy time, her parents began to speak out and her captivity became known.
But from news reports I know she went to Syria to help hurting people. Much like my friends in Lebanon are doing among their Syrian refugees as well as similar work other godly people are doing in Turkey. These are God’s good people who are risking their lives to help people who are, for the most part, not even the same religion they are, and to whom they are not related and have no kinship with other than the fact they are fellow human beings who are in a horrible hurting situation.
But that was enough for Kayla and for many others who just want to show the love of Christ with their actions and attitudes. Taking blankets, food, encouragement and care.
Sadly, not all Christians are behaving that way. I read recently where a person who professed to be a Christian was rejoicing because they somehow had knowledge that “Muslims” would for sure go to hell. I don’t know how they know this for sure. I know the Lord Jesus Christ died to make it possible for them to be in heaven. The Lord God is still working toward that goal for all mankind and our job as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ is to help him do it.
I have seen too much hatred poured out on our “enemies” in ISIS and elsewhere by those who claim to be Christians. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are called to love our enemies and do good to those who despise us.
Kayla did that.
Now understand, I am not a pacifist—at least not to the extent some of my good friends are.
In the same way we need good people in local, state and national police forces to protect our communities from cruel, evil, and ungodly people, I believe we also need a strong military to protect innocent people from ISIS and others like them who do evil things. I thank God for those who put their lives on the line to protect and preserve our peace and the peace of the world.
But tonight I’m thinking about the Kayla’s of the world through whom God is showing the world what the followers of Christ are all about. We’re not about war except in a very last resort. We are here to make the world better by being godly people who let the love of Christ flow through us and impact those around us. Sometimes it has to be tough love as we see by good people in the military or police forces, but at other times God needs people like Kayla who are tough enough to take the love of God into the most difficult situations.
In her twenty-five years Kayla may have done more for the cause of Christ than most of us do in our normal four score and ten years. Kayla died as a martyr but long ago someone said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
So would you join me in praying for Kayla’s captors? Pray God will touch the hearts of those who persecuted Kayla and her family and friends when they took her life? But let’s also pray God will help us all to be more like Jesus around the people who know us. Pray the people around us will see Jesus in us. I have no doubt Kayla’s captors saw the love of God shining out of her life and I pray God’s Spirit will not let them forget what they saw. I know God will continue to use those memories to draw people to his amazing love.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s My View from Tanner Creek.