A few ways to think about the war

Jon sometimes writes about suffering, since it’s part of his day job – often helping people face the loss of health or even life at a hospital.

destruction from war

Here are a few thoughts about a different kind of suffering – the kind of suffering that comes from dealing with the loss of family members and any sense of a normal life due to a war that suddenly descended in full force on your country.

It’s so easy to look at the war in Ukraine with frustration, anger and sadness. Those are natural and sometimes healthy ways to grieve that situation.

Wondering what to think is my default mode of thinking about Ukraine. It’s hard to wrap my head around why this can be happening.

“Should we pray for peace? Or for the destruction of the Russian army?” Yura Fedoryuk, a pastor, wondered that from his home in Zolotonosha, Ukraine (World Magazine, March 10, 2022).

My thoughts about their best actions are worth very little when compared to thoughts of those dealing with this war up close and personal. I’m writing this from the comfort of my warm house on a cold evening after having eaten a delicious meal. But I can question myself.

Jon wrote, “Possibly, physical healing isn’t the pinnacle of the miraculous work of Jesus.” Similarly, it’s hard to look past what seems obvious to see the ways that God will use this tragedy to work His good purposes. God may have special plans to move in human hearts in ways that have never been seen before.

And we can pray – for peace in the country and for the families whose lives have been torn asunder.

Fedoryuk concluded his dialogue with the World reporter by saying, “The best part of each day is waking up because you had a quiet night and are still there to wake up. I took a picture of my kids sleeping today and I was so happy. I had never thought about these things before the Russians came.”

God, help me to be thankful.

Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday.

The photo is used with permission under a Creative Commons license. Thanks to Levi Meir Clancy, the photographer. His work is on Unsplash. The photo is of destruction in Iraq, not Ukraine.