I was thumbing through a recent copy of National Geographic magazine when I came across an article on the country of Myanmar, formerly called Burma. As I read through the article, I mentally began to immerse myself in their countries current troubles, and their hope for the future. My mind wondered across a landscape that for the most part is totally alien to me. Except, for those extremely rare occasions when I have found myself traveling through some of the more hopeless sections of our metropolises here in the U.S.. I really cannot identify with it at all, but I can empathize with their plight as a fellow human being. As I Christian, I would challenge myself to do more.
For the most part, the people of Earth need a few, but some very important things with which to survive. I would limit those items to food, water, and shelter. Anybody who has seen an episode of Survivor or any of it's clones on reality television would know that. After those three items, we could probably add clothing,tools, and maybe a means of transportation. Beyond that, we could rate and then list, what other items we might actually need to survive as individuals or a small group. I think that if we restricted ourselves to the word "survive", we would find that we wouldn't need much more than these simple things to insure a healthy, growing community.
Now, I know that for me, I could probably do OK in those simplistic conditions. But, I also know that for the most part, I wouldn't be that happy. I know that there would have to be one other element added to my life to make it more that just simply surviving. That element would be hope.
I believe that hope is one of the most precious elements on the planet. Far more precious than gold, hope and it's precursor faith, are more valuable than monetary wealth to the human psyche. These allies are more formidable than the strongest of armies. How many times in man's history, in what seemed like dire circumstances, did faith arise and become hope's standard bearer, and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?
As I look at the pictures of Myanmar. I am a realist. I see little hope, and a fading faith in the eyes of my fellow wayfarers in this country far, far away. But, I still do see faith and hope. Because although it may be only a spark or distant memory from days gone by, it is there because it is inherent in mankind. It is our inalienable right to hope against all odds. And when accompanied with love, it is one of the things that makes mankind human.
Now, these could all be well intentioned, lofty, altruistic thoughts. Simple high minded heartfelt musings, save we add to them the missing quotient in the saving equation. God. The hope for Myanmar will not come in elections alone. The redeeming change in their culture, one that would respect the rights and uniqueness of the people. Will not come about with just faith in fair and just rulers. It will only come about, in it's fullness, as Jesus becomes the resident king in the hearts of the Burmese people.
You see one kingdom must replace another for life to become more than just simply existing. Jesus taught that He was in charge of a kingdom that was invading Earth. That His reign and rule was exercised through the outflowing of His power and presence through it's citizens as resident aliens on this planet. These ambassadors had both power and authority, even though they trod on foreign soil. It takes a heart of faith, a mind filled with hope, and a spirit overflowing with love to become the most accomplished of these ambassadors in His service. But, all have the potential to change the order of the world around them.
Going back to the beginning of my thoughts on this subject, I said that I would challenge myself to do more as a Christian. And this is what I will do; How about you? I can give. I can go. I can have a voice. I can act. It is my choice to do any and or all should I accept the call. But, the first thing that I can do, and have done, is to pray for Myanmar.
Now, Myanmar is not anymore or less deserving of my time in prayer, and support than any other country or people group. And as I said earlier, all of this came about from simply seeing pictures and reading an article in a National Geographic magazine. I am accountable as to how I respond as a King's ambassador. But, the first and most readily available power of change that I have at hand is the power of prayer. As it is said, " for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (earthly) but are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds," ( 2 Cor.10:4) With that in our mind and hearts, lets go about seeking and launching some real hope and change!