And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew 16:13 (English Standard Version)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
In the past ten days, we have seen a remarkable demonstration of evil in the world. Yes, evil is always present, but there are times that it is so evident, so palpable, that our breath is taken away. The wanton invasion of Ukraine is evil at work. Period. Such instances strain our understanding of the words of Jesus when he instructed us to pray for deliverance from evil.
I am guessing that you and I, like millions of others, are praying for the Ukrainian people. We pray for them, as well as ourselves, to be delivered from the evil of Vladimir Putin’s genocide. We as Christians are also told to pray for our enemies.
I get confused, and frustrated, and sad.
Then I read that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and his plans higher than our plans. Certainly true, but nonetheless frustrating. After all is said and done, I am left with this conclusion – God must have this, because I surely do not. I relearn my place in the universe- he is God, and I am not.
But God did make us human, with human emotions and intellects, to search after the truth of his word, as well as our honest assessment of our feelings about such evil events. So, we must get in touch with the truth of all these disparate thoughts and emotions.
To summarize, we live in the tension of asking for deliverance from evil; called to pray for our enemies; and recognizing that God has this and we do not.
Prayer: Lord, deliver us from evil, Amen