Wars are devastating. Thousands die and millions more suffer due to the aftermath. Many flee their homeland and seek refuge in foreign soil.
Come to think of it, are we also on the run, trying to escape the war within us?
Syria has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The civil uprising that broke out after the Arab spring escalated into a full fledged war involving several countries and militant groups. Innocent children were massacred and deadly chemical weapons were used on civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions have been displaced since 2011.
The Syrian war has lead to one of the biggest refugee crisis in the history of humanity.
Majority of the refugees have been either displaced internally within Syria or in the neighboring Arab countries. Many thousands have taken the risky route to Europe through small boats and have sought asylum. The image of Aylan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian boy, washed up on the beach, melted the hearts of the world and more countries opened up their resources for the refugees.
But the cry of a refugee is for his homeland, a longing to return to peace and stability.
Shall we pause for a moment and think about the war within us? Don’t we all have our battles to fight? It could be the traumatic past that seems to haunt us or an addiction that doesn’t seem to go away. It could be the embarrassment of a failure or the anxiety and fear of an uncertain future. We often feel incapable of fighting these battles on our own.
The tendency is to flee from the battle like a refugee, but where do we run to?
The Bible says that, ”the name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the righteous run to him and are safe.*” During his life on earth, Jesus went through all the trials and pains that we face. He knows our struggles and sympathizes with our weaknesses.
So God, through Jesus, welcomes refugees like us, fleeing from the war within their souls! He will help us fight our battles and reclaim the lost ground!
God is not a distant entity who is indifferent to the cries of our heart. May we trust him and cast all our burdens on him. We can run to him for refuge because unlike many countries today, he will never turn a refugee down.
*Proverbs 18:10 (Bible)