Friday, July 15, 2011

Nahum and Chihuahua

A view of Chihuahua from Cerro Grande, the tallest mountain in the city.
This summer, two of my best friends and I are reading through the minor prophets together. This week, we finished Micah and moved on to Nahum. In reading Nahum, my heart was truly burdened for the city in which I live and will continue to call home for the next year. Nahum is about God's judgment on the city of Nineveh. Jonah had been sent to prophesy over and warn Nineveh by encouraging the city to repentance years before, and now the city has returned to her sin. There are murderers and liars lurking through the streets, plotting and then executing evil.

The thought of the drug cartels that are controlling this city and instilling fear amongst the people through manipulation and extortion is unsettling and hurts to think about. You see, there are so many precious Mexicans who remember a peaceful time without worries of shootings and uncertainty. One good thing that comes from the oppression felt by many Mexican people here is that it creates many open doors for ministry. Many people who feel lost and without hope are willing to hear about Someone who can give them peace beyond all understanding when they feel as though they have no where else to turn.

In reading through commentary on Nahum 3 this morning, I came across this quote by Matthew Henry: "He is a strong-hold for every believer in time of trouble, that cannot be stormed or taken; and he knoweth those that trust in Him." I can be completely honest in telling you that I am not afraid to live here. My life here is normal; I do not have to be a hermit because of security issues. I just have to be smart and trust that the Lord has me in His hands. He alone is my stronghold, and there is nothing that can separate me from His love. This week at the brickyard, our memory verse is Romans 8:38-39. We are learning it in Spanish, of course, which is a new challenge for me. This morning, the Lord reminded me of the promises He gives me and all other believers through the words of the apostle Paul in these verses:

  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing on earth can separate me from His love. There is nothing that anyone can do to me or against me that has not come through His hands first. He is omnipotent [all powerful], omnipresent [in all things], and omniscient [all-knowing]. When I hear sirens, I do not freeze in fear and wonder what happened and if someone is coming to get me, too. I pray. There is power in prayer. Yes, there is corruption and evil lurking in the streets of Chihuahua. But there is also hope. Hope in Jesus Christ, who makes all things new.

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