I have just read Holding On Loosely by Giacopelli, and my goodness it was appropriate for what is going on in my heart just now. Giacopelli says that the Hebrew for “be still” in Ps. 46 is harpu, which translated literally means holding on loosely. One of the main nuggets I got out of his book is the idea that the ideal place for us to be is right in middle of the spectrum between trying to have tight fisted control and just totally giving up, ie being completely resigned to doing nothing. That place is where I am struggling to be right now; there is no way I can have control over the insanity that is going on in this country, but I can fight against my leaning to just give up. I can keep on being present in my friends’ lives; I can be an encourager and a person of prayer for them. I can bring hope to them.
My Fulani best friend, Hawa, came to me months ago, before she left to cross the border to safety, asking me to store some household things for her. I readily agreed, thinking that she would be able to come back within a reasonable time. The last time I was with her, she asked that we bring as much of her things as we could the next time we visited her, because the hard reality is setting in that she and all our Fulani/Muslixm friends may never be safe and welcome in this country again. Our town and surrounding area is now emptied of all our M friends, and their houses and places of business have been stripped or taken over. This past week we tried to take Hawa’s things to her, but we were stopped and our truck was emptied of all Fulani belongings, with never an attempt to take anything belonging to us missionaries. This current penchant that has taken over, to rid the country of any trace of a whole people group, is wrong and heart-breaking and frightening. How then, do we proceed?
Be still my heart, hold on loosely, resting in the knowledge that I can’t be in control, but also resting in the knowledge that I don’t need to give up because I know that the Lord is GOD. He listens to the cries of our hearts, and cries with us. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. May he give healing and grace to these persecuted ones, that they may be able to forgive what has been done, that they would see and understand somehow that God does love them, even though men don’t. May we be used to that end!
Be still and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10 Amen.