Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged before You.
Put them in fear, O Lord;
Let the nations know that they are but men. Psalms 9:19-20
I saw the news. I saw the live feed. I did not feel much. It took me a night and some more reading to finally understand and feel that innocent lives were slaughtered. And then I examined my heart. Why am I not lamenting? Why not feel the loss? There was only one possible answer.
My pain was constantly before me. Psalm 37:17b
When you wake up and not able to feel the pain of others, because you are still healing, you are still hurting and waiting on God for His justice for you, how do you feel compassion and pain for human suffering?
- Get Out and Be in the Midst of Suffering
Let the survivors teach us a thing about fresh experience of mercy. Let their stories of fear and facing death, help us walk through our own life situations that we blocked out, and numbed ourselves. Isolating and numbing is not the way to heal, but facing pain and hurting with those who hurt, will let the flood gates open to facing our oppressors again and cry out for God to intervene again.
2. Volunteer in Whatever Way We Can
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” — Mister Rogers
It might be as little as posting a picture of Paris on your wall or gathering together to pray for Paris. It is a good reminder to the remaining world that helpers are still active who bear the image of God’s compassion and love in the light of suffering. Volunteering in a way that hurts is a way to break free of making an idol of our own suffering.
3. Pray Even When You Don’t feel
Psalm 10 is a good place to start.
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
4)Remind Ourselves the Nations are But Men
Our times are in God’s hands. Not just our times, but the times of the evil doers too. Psalmist says, at best, man is but a breath.
Crowns leave their wearers but men, degrees of eminent learning make their owners not more than men, valor and conquest cannot elevate beyond the dead level of “but men;” and all the wealth of Croesus, the wisdom of Solomon, the power of Alexander, the eloquence of Demosthenes, if added together, would leave the possessor but a man. Spurgeon, Charles (2012-01-17). The Treasury of David:
What would make the evildoers think they are not but men? In our daily lives, may we remind ourselves over and over again that God is a righteous judge and He will judge the nations.
Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Psalm 9:20