On April 14, the terrorist group Boko Haram entered a Nigerian boarding school during the night, snatched more than 200 girls out of their beds, herded them into trucks and vans, then drove off into the night. A few escaped through the forest, but the rest have not been seen or heard from since. (Read more about the story.)
This has been on my heart and mind since I first heard about it. Every time it comes to mind I pray.
Since I’ve never lost a child to violence, I can only guess at what she must be going through. In my imagination it’s not pretty.
We don’t have much in common, that Nigerian mother and me. Nothing except a mother’s heart. I know that she would do anything to save her girl. She would even trade places with her if that were possible. If that would make her safe.
I don’t know if that mother knows Jesus or if before April 14 she even believed in God. But my guess is that now she is a pray-er. That for the last three weeks she’s been lifting her heart and her voice to the One that must BE. Yes, with the rest of the world, this mother is praying: “Dear God, bring back our girls.”
This violent act of inhumanity has caught the attention of the world. Twitter has blown up with the cry of #BringBackOurGirls. Leading nations from around the world are responding with assistance. You can send prayers and words of encouragement through the Christian ministry Open Doors.
But, where is God in all of this? Does He see? Does He know? Does He care? And if He does, why doesn’t He act?
I don’t have an easy answer for these questions. God has chosen to give mankind free will and we have abused it, chosen our own sinful way. But, we can cling to truths about God found in His Word and trust them to be true. Even when we do not understand. Even when we do not see what He’s doing.
- God is all-powerful and in control of every situation. Psalm 77:14, Jeremiah, 32:17, Ephesians 1:18-21
- God knows and cares about every aspect of our lives. Matthew 6:25-34, Hebrews 4:14; Philippians 4:19
- God is always at work in His world. John 5:17
- God is good, loving, and faithful. Psalm 145:17, 1 John 4:8, Lamentations 3:22-23
- We are not alone in trouble; God is always with us. Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 23:4, John 14:16, Matthew 28:20
- God will strengthen and comfort us in the midst of troubles. Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 40:27-31, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- God works through difficulties in our lives to accomplish His eternal purposes. James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 8:28-29.
When we see evil in the world, when we experience trouble and difficulty in our own lives, when we doubt that God sees or cares, we can stand on these truths and trust in His love and sovereignty. Even when things don’t turn out like we’d hoped.
Let’s continue to pray for the Nigerian schoolgirls. I’d love for you to share your prayers in the comment section. Dear God, bring back these girls.