When Everything Feels Like Crucifixion

When Everything Seems Like Crucifixion

There was a time when our whole world was crucified.  There were about 150 converts from Islam in Somalia at the height of the famine.  They killed four of my best friends in one day.  They knew where they worked.  They stalked them, they followed them.  And they planned this out to the second.  And from 7:00 am to 7:45 am in one morning, they walked up to four of my best friends, put a gun to the back of their heads, blew their brains out, and threw their bodies away.  When we went to Somalia there were 150 believers.  When we were kicked out, there were only 4 left alive.  

That’s crucifixion.

We were feeding 50,000 people a day.  We were working with people who were traumatized. We were resettling refugees.  We were burying 20 children a day. Not a day went by when I did not ask of myself “What Sunday School class did I miss?  What sermon did I not listen to?”  Jesus gave us the perfect vision statement: “I’ve come to seek and to save those who are LOST”.  And He said He was going to accomplish that by sending you as sheep among wolves.  But everything I had up to that point prepared me to be a sheep among sheep.  When I got to where the wolves were in the majority, I didn’t know what to do.  We can tell you what it looks like to be in places where you and I and our ancestors have been disobedient for over 2000 years in not taking Christ to these places.  We’ve been where pagans have a Ph.D. in paganism.  We’ve found that evil has no bottom.

During the height of our feeding projects, we would sit around a table in the Ogaden, inside a warehouse full of food, medicines, and supplies.  People in the area were starving so quickly that when we went around the table and told each other where we were going that day, we were literally deciding who was going to live and who was going to die.

Everything around us always seemed like crucifixion.  

Maybe it’s timely to consider this as “Good” Friday approaches.  What do we do when everything around us only seems like crucifixion?    

We learned this lesson in Somalia: If Jesus is not the answer, there is no answer!  

Every day we walk by the lost, scattered, broken, abused, mistreated, and sinful.  Will we open our hearts and our minds to consider the thought: are you the one?  Are you the one to share the hope of the Resurrection with the one that passes you by?    

Are you willing for God to you pick up from an air-conditioned room and to put you on any frozen mountain top or any basement of the boiling hot desert? Are you willing to be the one in the cities and villages of this world?

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are that one for somebody today. When everything seems like crucifixion, remember – there is always Resurrection in Jesus!