Life in Israel has truly been a whirlwind in this past week.
On Monday evening, when the bodies of the three kidnapped boys, Gil-Ad, Eyal, and Naftali, were found, the attention of the entire country was captured. We were all hooked to the news on our cell phones, TV’s and radios as we listened for the latest updates in the aftermath of this most recent terror attack.
The consequences are devastating. As Israel mourns there are many different reactions from different sources. Some far-right activists are screaming for revenge, while the government is being more careful and calculated in its reactions. A teenage Palestinian was found dead on Wednesday, and we all hope and pray that this is not a result of a vengeful plot.
The IAF is targeting strategic sites in Gaza to take down rocket launchers and the like, while the South of Israel endures another downpour of rockets. Since Wednesday night there have been close to 30 rockets which have fallen on Israeli citizens bordering the Gaza strip, four of which hit homes in Sderot.
Sderot, being less than 1 km away from Gaza, is extremely vulnerable; the news yesterday morning announced that the Iron Dome cannot effectively protect the area due to its proximity. Thankfully there were no casualties, but many are being treated for shock.
And the West Bank is full of rioting protestors throwing rocks and even Molotov cocktails at the Israeli police patrolling the area.
And through all this I can’t help but think about the fact that we are just one small example of the pain and grief which encompass the world.
Yes, this week (and a lot of the time) Israel is a mess. We are mourning the loss of our boys and at the same time fighting a battle against Hamas. It is unjust what happened to them as well as what is happening to the citizens of Southern Israel and the innocent lives being lost in the West Bank and Gaza. Furthermore, all of the victims which have lost their lives in the bloodshed of the past years in Syria, and most currently what is happening with the ISIL group sweeping through Iraq. There are also the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya and the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped three months ago.
When I look around at the world today, I wonder, has it always been this bad?
In all of this chaos, as believers, we have a responsibility to be peacemakers.
While it is easy to react, grab a side, and join, I think it’s important to pray and consider those who don’t have a voice. Whether it be those who worry daily about rockets falling on their homes, or those who fall victim to violence because of the terrorist group reigning over them, each party is suffering.
To try to address the question I asked, “Has it always been this bad?” I think it has. But there is a greater evil at hand which must be defeated. There is a larger battle going on than what is happening in Israel, Kenya, Syria or Iraq. While we don’t have control over what will happen, we do have access to the Lord. We must pray for Him for His wisdom and His peace. We must pray for His justice to be done in His way and not to take things into our own hands, no matter what we are feeling. Let us be a light and witness to His justice and love, for He is returning soon!
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.’” Isaiah 56:1