By: Andy Oldham
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you
may have peace. In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Syria is on our lips. Anxiety hammers the heart with uncertainty about our families, our communities, and our nation. Confusion and skepticism grab a hold of the fear within and shake it in our face like a rabid dog. Indecision makes its mark on the mind of our leaders while others assure us that an attack on Assad’s régime is necessary and the right thing.
I will never intentionally make this blog political. However, we must realize, during this time of misgiving, that what we think, what we say, and what we impose through oral and unreserved exhortation—and, yes non-verbal communication—affect those around us.
If you have any age on you at all you will know that war is not accomplished without loss of sleep. The Viet-Nam War mandated itself on my young life. That grueling war had a profound impact upon who I was and would become. I am speaking of my teenage years when trepidation entered through the eyes of a wary boy who watched the national news each night. I saw men my age dying and getting limbs blown off. In my senior year of high school, friends spoke of death until I was no longer worried, but scared. With each passing day my draft number grew closer to the proverbial call to duty. I did not want to go, and I did not want to die.
I hit my knees and the Lord blessed my prayers. I was stationed in Minot, ND all four years. The anxiety of receiving orders to the war zone several times kept me on edge. The chatter of so many I had known who would not be returning to their home broke my heart. There were no words of consolation, only words delivering a helpless forecast resulting a sensitve spirit and a sorrowful heart.
Have you entered the throne room of our Father and prayed for our leaders? Have you prayed for God to calm your heart and that of your family and friends? Don’t stop now! Continue as Daniel, if you must; he prayed twenty-one days before the answer came.
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when
you lie down, our sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
Our children and grandchildren soak up our conversation when we speak on aggression against Syria and often process our words as insecurity in their mind and heart. Children listen when we speak. Little ones sit in quiet and absorb the alarm and fearfulness in our voice. Teenagers want to feel mature but still worry themselves over what is said by family and friends. Be careful that our words do not speak fear. We do not want our grandchildren to arrive at an impasse of unrest and instability. I pray that you will take time to notice if your children and grandchildren are disturbed by what they hear and what their emotions convey in our home. Discuss their thoughts on Syria if you feel comfortable doing so. Leave politics out of the discussion. Instead reflect on scripture for assurance.
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that
is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard
from me in the presence of many witnesses, these
entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach
others also.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2
While our leaders are debating the merits of new conflict in the Middle East we as grandfathers should hit our knees in prayer for our leaders. Most importantly we should pray not only for but with our grandchildren. If you have not already started this cycle of prayer with your grandchildren, why not use this as a time to do so, and then continue the tradition. Entrust the Truth to your ancestry so they will teach it to others. Set the example they will never forget!