It has happened. Again.
It was reported by numerous news agencies that a huge number of young girls– approximately 100 of them– were kidnapped by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, on February 19th, 2018, from Government Girls Science Technical College in Yobe State. Most, if not all of the girls were from a place called Dapchi village.1
Honestly, I am angry. Because, once again, the Nigerian government said that they had rescued 48 of these young women. They didn’t.2 I am honesty fuming, and so, so disappointed, at so much.
I have to remind myself that, horrifically, this has been happening for a LONG, long time. To hundreds of men, women, and children.
But don’t you ever just get tired of this happening, again and again???
All I can do is ask God why. And, “When will this stop?” It’s really hard to not become jaded, right now.
But in this time of anger, heartbreak, and extreme discouragement, I am reminded that my Jesus cares. That, just like in John 11:33, when Lazarus dies, Jesus is “deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”
Let me give you some background. In John 11, Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, becomes deathly sick. Instead of running to Lazarus, or healing him with a word, Jesus waits. Four days.
In this span of time, Lazarus dies– and there seems to be no Hope for the situation. He is dead. He is gone.
By this time, Jesus comes upon the scene. Mary and Martha are in the thick, dark blackness of grief; Martha runs to Jesus in honest anguish and disappointment. “‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask’” (John 11:21).
Holding on to faith, Martha pours herself out to Jesus. “‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. …I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’” (John 11:21, 27, NIV).
Mary, in her grief, does not turn from Jesus. Instead, she runs to Him.
“After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.”
(John 11:28-31, NIV)
In her grief and questioning why, Mary cries out to Him. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” she says, knowing that Jesus is the only One who can help her in her grief. And as Jesus looks around at the death and grief surrounding Him, the greek for verse 33 is very telling. According to Lysa TerKeurst, “Embrimaomai,” the word used to describe Jesus’ response, “refers to anger, outrage, and emotional indignation.”3
Jesus was not just moved to sad tears—though He was (John 11:34). He was moved to extreme emotional aggravation and anger. Not in a sinful sense; but in the sense that He hated what was going on.
I believe Jesus is filled with a similar anger and outrage, looking at the situation in Northern Nigeria—where countless people have been abducted, coerced, and brutalized under being “led by allah.” I believe that it breaks His heart, and makes Him sigh in sorrow.
In Exodus 5, when Moses initially asked Pharoah to let God’s people, the Israelites, go free, things got a lot worse before they got better. Pharoah refused, commanding the Israelites to work even harder. A lot of pain, anguish, and patience was needed before they were actually able to be free.
And so it seems with this. Things are getting worse before they get better. Mary and Martha couldn’t understand it at the time; but, just as Jesus waited four days—until Lazarus was already dead—so that He could show everyone His Glory, He has a purpose for allowing even an event so sick as this one to take place.
And even now, He is my Hope.
Everyone, please pray for these 100 kidnapped young women. May their story not be so tragic and evil as the Chibok girls’ abduction has been—and may their families never, ever lose the Hope that is only found in Jesus. Please, Jesus, bring these young women home soon.
Do you know Jesus?
At this point, Jesus Christ is the only One who can save. These girls, their families, and the world at large—there is no one who can save like He can.
Learn more about this God-in-Human-Flesh, the One who Loves you and wants to save and help even you, here.
Please pray for (print out a “Prayer Points” sheet here)…
- These 100 young women. Already, two women were found dead. Please pray that the rest of these young women would be saved, and that this evil, pain, and suffering would STOP in Jesus’ Name.
- The 112 Chibok girls who are still in Boko Haram captivity. That they would not lose Hope, and would desire to be free. May they come home so, so soon.
- The families and loved ones of these girls, as well as everyone in Chibok, Nigeria, and Dapchi, Nigeria. Please pray over every person that this evil is affecting.
- Pray that Jesus would bring about saving people, both now and eternally, even through this tragic event.
Please spread this news, as well as the story of the Chibok schoolgirls. These girls CANNOT be forgotten; MAY JESUS BRING THEM OUT OF BONDAGE, SOON!!!
3 TerKeurst, Lysa. Finding I Am: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart. LifeWay Press, 2016.