I just sat down in Vukovar, Croatia, and opened my Bible to Psalm 46. I am reminded how wars may come and wars may thrive and continue, but it is God Who oversees all, who makes the weapons to fall. And in the midst of war He says, “Be still and know that I am God” followed by the assurance of His exaltation throughout all the earth, within all the warring nations. Even now I am looking out among the buildings that have been poxed with shells and bombs. What would take a lifetime to see are the stories which have become the lives of these people. War-deaths, blood-feuds, depression, suicide, alcoholism, grief that is worse than death – all these lay behind the hospitable coffee-visits and cheery faces. Do not look too closely, though, because the eyes are fuller than a glass of water that has formed at tenuous dome above the rim. They have seen too much and have bourne under an hopeless situation. And yet Yawheh’s word still echoes in the heavy air: Be still. God is our refuge. He Who created all the universe brought land out o sea, formed people and divided nations, made a throne of a mangerč this same God looked at the children and said, “come unto me”, beheld the harlot and pronounced, “your sins are forgiven”. Are not the lives of these people not only known to Him, but come near to His heart in the tears of this widowed land? Have not the screams of the orphans pierced His ears? And have not the faithful among these entered into the sanctuary of rest which is His bosom?
It would be farthest from my desires in writing this to pretend that I know the hardship of war or the ocean of grief that comes in its wake. My only desire is to extol the God Who is both merciful and just. The God who delivers His people as He did in the time of David. David cries out to God time and time again in desperation, fear, and grief but his voice can also be heard in the shout of triumph, the song of praise, and the prayers of faith. My prayer for these people of the former Yugoslavia is that they may raise their broken hearts and voices to the God Who created them and find solace under the shadow of His wings.
Please see: Psalm 57; 47; 49; 55; 56; 59; 91.