Ukraine: Where is God in the Unimaginable?
Wednesday, Feb 23rd, 2022.
Parents send their children off to school reminding them to turn in their homework. Kids text their friends complaining about the aforementioned homework. A woman gives birth to her first child. University students gear up to finish the semester strong. Adults of every age and background head off to work; lawyers, construction workers, teachers, cinematographers. A nation of people, living everyday lives, dream of their future.
Anything is possible on Wednesday.
And everything changes on Thursday.
Do you go or stay? Is this really happening? What do you take? Where do you go?
These are the moments you can’t plan. No one can imagine what it’s like to urgently grab a few essentials, pack only what you can carry, and say goodbye to your life as you know it forever. It is living in the unimaginable horror of war.
There are hundreds of thousands of new single moms, who have left their husbands behind to fight the war, desperately seeking safety for their children. How do you say goodbye? What do you tell your children?
And the men left behind, who yesterday worked as painters, chefs, teachers, engineers, pastors … now find themselves defending their country. They receive a crash course on how to use weapons they’ve never held before; lessons on first aid and what to do when tanks roll in.
This was all unimaginable a few weeks ago.
And there is the 11-year-old boy, Hassan, who was sent with his passport, a phone number written on his arm, and one small bag of clothes. A mother who made the impossible decision to send her child alone in the hope of safety. Decisions no parent should ever have to make. But now many are being faced with this very decision. Unimaginable.
And where is God in the unimaginable?
It is no wonder that many are asking where God is in all of this chaos.
God is with the doctors, nurses, and caretakers who are staying behind taking care of those who are too ill to travel. He is with the adults who are sheltering and caring for the orphans as they try to find a way to safety. He is with every train operator, bus driver, and border agent, as they work non-stop to help people leave Ukraine.
God is with every person in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and beyond, who have opened their homes to complete strangers, providing food and shelter to everyone who is in need.
God is with every volunteer at each border who is handing out food, blankets, and yes - DIAPERS! He is with those who are helping translate (thank you google translate!) and those who are organizing the systems of where families can go and how to get them there. He is in every warm smile and every tear shed. He is in our united voice “You are not alone.”
Because no one should ever feel alone.
God is in the unimaginable.
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.
God is in our humanity.
We most reflect the love of God, the image of God, when we treat one another in love. We shine His light in the world when we show up for our fellow human beings amid the unimaginable. In the darkness, His light shines.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
God calls each of us, every human being, to show up in these moments. God calls us to shine His light. He calls us to action. God never asks us to hold back on helping others. He never asks us to not give too much so we can have more for ourselves.
Comfort is not God’s goal for our lives.
But loving others is. Showing up for others. Taking action.
Should We Pray for Ukraine?
Does this mean we don’t need to pray? Absolutely not. Pray! Pray for an end to the war, pray for peace, and pray for families to be reunited. But also ask God to show you what action you can take.
Stop and think of the unimaginable and how it would feel if it happened to you. I couldn’t help but ask myself what I would do if those circumstances happened here, in my city. Where would I go? Who would help me? Would complete strangers be there for me? I believe the answer is yes.
God is in the unimaginable. He asks each of us to join Him there and shine His light of love.
How to Take Action
As you ask God how He wants you to take actions, here are a few ways you can learn more:
Unicef is a well-known organization that is working to scale up support for children and families who are still currently in Ukraine
The Red Cross has deployed help to feed and shelter families. They are working to distribute hygiene products and help those with disabilities who have fled Ukraine.
Kontaktmission is working through local Christian agencies within Ukraine.
Samaritan’s Purse: Working to help fleeing Ukrainians in surrounding countries.