And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?
Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
This passage has been on my heart for the past year or so, and it was the topic of last Sunday’s sermon at church. We’ve been going through Luke since, well, about two years before we starting coming. I’ve been waiting, each week glancing to see how much further we had to get to this passage. It has captured me.
It’s spoken following a parable about a persistent widow who consistently asks the judge to bring justice to her. And though he “neither feared God nor respected man”, he eventually listens to her because she is persistent (or annoying). But God commends this. He encourages his children to pray consistently (see also Luke 11:5-13).
This is my heart for Burma exactly. To pray, when there seems no hope and no justice, but to beg consistently on their behalf. To cry out and never grow faint. To cry out and believe that God is bringing justice; not that he will bring justice, but he is currently, whether I can see it or not.
In the sermon, a story was shared about a family member that–how do you say it without being cliche?–“went down the wrong path”. Either way, the parents and family would pray for them daily, and did for over twenty years before he turned back to Christ. Twenty years. That’s persistence.
But that’s what I want to be! I want to pray for Burma consistently, whether I’m living among the people, working at a desk, or raising my own kids. I want to pray faithfully, so that when the Son of Man comes, he will find faith on earth, and he will find me here crying out for this people he’s broken my heart for.
And then I get shivers as I think about Burma truly finding freedom. And the deepest joy in my heart rises up; it’s indescribable. I imagine the celebration: of Stephen & I; of the beautiful students we met at Noh Bo last summer, now many of them resettled around the world; all those who have prayed for Burma faithfully from Conway, Arkansas; our Karen brothers and sisters; Brad and Kim in Oklahoma City; Partners staff; the brave teams of Free Burma Rangers. I imagine this beautiful day of us rejoicing from every corner of the earth for this little country that we cried out for and God heard. And he answered. And it’s coming.
Honestly, I don’t even know what that looks like. Is it a political freedom, is it a democratic victory? Or is it in the churches of Burma, now squeezed into the walls of refugee camps? I don’t know, but I’m crying for it.
I don’t even understand it, honestly. I love this country and these people so very deeply, but I have no explanation. People often ask, “Why Burma?” And let’s be honest, there is hurting, or groaning if you will (Romans 8), everywhere. And yet for some reason that I can only explain as Christ, this country has broken me. These people are heavy on my hearts. And I connect with this group so deeply. It doesn’t even make sense to me as I live it, but it is my deepest cry.
And so I write, again, about this country and about my ache. But I would ask that you pray, especially right now. There were elections in Burma on Sunday, and fighting has broken out on the border. It’s very near where we’ll be living, and over 10,000 new refugees have fled Burma into Mae Sot. Please pray for the current safety and provisions of these refugees, but also, please pray for the future of this country: for the future currently living on the run, for the future currently living under oppression of the government, for the future currently living right here among us in America.