“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me…” What a wonderful promise!
And what a blessing to be sent to the brokenhearted, the captives, and the prisoners!
The end of that verse sounds anything but joyful and glamorous. And yet the joy that comes from going to those people is beyond comparison. Many times it’s dark and dirty. In fact, most times it’s dark and dirty. Free, clean public bathrooms don’t exist in Ukraine. Squat pots are the norm and anyone privy to the culture will have remembered to bring along some toilet paper. Many days the meals are
unrecognizable. But to see a person’s face light up when a ball spins on their finger or they hear that God loves them and has a plan for their lives is worth any discomfort because “the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me.”
Sitting in a crowded bus for over eleven hours traveling from Ukraine into Poland might threaten to rip a little joy out of one’s life. Looking into the cold eyes of a female Ukrainian guard and realizing that her name may not have ever been uttered
before the throne of God rips even deeper. Even if you can’t talk to her because the language barrier doesn’t allow it, the greater risk is the razor sharp glare from her dares you to speak a word. So, quietly, God’s Sovereign Spirit is asked to rest upon her life. The joy returns in knowing that He hears. His ability to touch her heart is far greater than any we can imagine. How we long for her to know His Joy!
To walk where over one million Jews were led to horrific living conditions and eventual death brought closer to home the message that we are commissioned to share. Even 68 years after the last prisoners were liberated, Auschwitz still has an effect on lives. The stories are heartbreaking and the pictures are gut wrenching. There are other stories, however, of those that proclaimed freedom while held captive by the Nazis in concentration camps. We were privileged to visit Corrie ten Boom’s home in Haarlem, Holland, and stand in the Hiding Place where she and her family hid Jews from the Nazis before they themselves were imprisoned. Even in prison they continued to proclaim freedom for the captives.
That is the freedom we long to share. That is the message we proclaim. And we are blessed!