Today, I’m sharing space with Angie Suich, director of The Mosaic Center in Evans, Georgia. She combines good history with good biblical memory to give good wisdom for such a time as this.
Talk about despair!
In 1940, Europe was all but finished. Hitler and his troops occupied Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and even the Channel Islands, a British territory.
England was the next to surrender, until a chubby, stoop-shouldered man with a speech impediment took a new job. Winston Churchill was probably the farthest person from who Britain had in mind to take command of this incredibly perilous situation, having been written off as a crackpot and political has-been.
Like Jesus appointing his team of crackpot disciples (explanation to follow), the appointment of Churchill to Prime Minister in 1940 by King George VI changed the landscape of history.
Two weeks after Churchill came into power, France was entirely knocked out of the war and 340,000 British troops furiously tried to escape over the beaches at Dunkirk.
It was finished: the Germans had absolute control of all of Europe. It seemed impossible that Britain, let alone Europe, coud survive.
Britain was desperate. They had no hope. No faith. No peace. They were rightly terrified of a Nazi invasion and needed someone to assuage their fears.
Enter Churchill onto the main stage to give this rousing and now famous speech to his nation:
We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Later, when asked about this speech, Churchill explained, “It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”
What’s the point of this history lesson? As Christians in a time of darkness when we feel powerless, alone, scared, restless, and anxious, we can be emboldened by Christ Himself because He gave us the power of the Roar. We have been uniquely called to help calm an anxious and scared nation and we have something more powerful than the Royal Air Force. We have the power of prayer that can be deployed anywhere and anytime – when we are at home, in our car, on our walk, in the field, on the beach, in the hills, on the streets. We have His Word to provide immediate peace and guidance.
And be comforted that just like Churchill, a man who wasn’t taken seriously before WWII but who saved Western Civilization, the Lord has appointed us – US! – to dispatch His Word, prayer, and love – the Roar – during this time.
Never think that you aren’t equipped to roar for the Lord. Do not underestimate who you are. Shy? Impatient? Cynical? Moody? Speech-impediment? Who cares?! The Holy Spirit dwells and lives in you! You are exactly who God wants to do His bidding during this perilous time our community, nation, and world finds itself in.
In Peter Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, he says the following about the disciples (remember – they were hand-picked by Jesus Himself!):
Remember, Jesus formed a community with a small group from Galilee, a backward province in Palestine. They were neither spiritually nor emotionally mature. Peter, the point leader, had a big problem with his mouth and was a bundle of contradictions. Andrew, his brother, was quiet and behind the scenes.
James and John were given the name “sons of thunder” because they were aggressive, hotheaded, ambitious and intolerant. Philip was skeptical and negative. He had limited vision. “We can’t do that,” summed up his faith when confronted by the problem of feeding the five thousand.
Nathaniel Bartholomew was prejudiced and opinionated. Matthew was the most hated person in Capernaum, working in a profession that abused innocent people.
Thomas was melancholy, mildly depressive, and pessimistic. James, son of Alphaeus and Jude, son of James, were nobodies – the Bible says nothing about them. Simon the Zealot was freedom fighter and terrorist in his day. Judas, the treasurer, was a thief and a loner. He pretended to be loyal to Jesus before finally betraying him.
Most of them, however, did have one great quality, they were willing. That is all God asks of us.
Friends! This is fantastic news! In a restless and unsettled world, be encouraged. We, yes, we, were called, hand-picked, by the King of Kings, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to unleash His Roar; to calm the nations, spread peace through Him, and love others as only He can.