The Bible says, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.” Ps 31:24. Herein, is the key. In order to have the courage to accomplish God's mission for our life, we must place our hope in the Lord. This means by waiting on the Lord, hoping in the Lord, and expecting from the Lord that He will give us the ability and courage needed.
Last night, many of us caught the world premiere of a Hallmark movie on CBS called “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.” Based on a true story, it was about a Catholic, Polish, Social Worker named Irena Sendler who risked her life to save over 2,500 Jewish children from being persecuted and mass murdered. She led a group of Catholic, Polish women disguising themselves as nurses as they visited the Jewish ghettos pretending to prevent the spread of Typhus. They conspired to smuggle out the children of the Jewish parents who were willing.
What many of us failed to perceive was that during the time of WWII, the Catholic church for the most part still had no love for the Jews and blamed them for the crucifixion of our Messiah, believing that the Catholic church has replaced Israel in God's eyes. It was not until my generation that the Pope began seeking to restore a peace between Israel and the Catholic church.
Not only was Irena a bold and courageous woman risking her life, but she showed a love and concern that was uncommon for a despised people. Not only despised by the Nazis, but also by the Catholic church along with many others who blamed the Jews for all the problems in the world.
Somehow beyond our human understanding, God created hearts in willing vessels to love His creation according to His compassion. One person's courage stirred the boldness and benevolence in many others. Irena did not see the Jews as despised, nor did many other beautiful people in Poland and surrounding nations that took in these children and raised them as their own for a season. The Jews went through a horrible persecution during WWII, but once again, God spared their total annihilation. How many times has the Enemy tried to put an end to Israel/Judah?
Yet, God was not taken by surprise. He was prepared. In His knowing the future, He had a plan already in place. Who could imagine a Nazi controlled Catholic nation would have so many people with hearts of empathetic courage to save despised children? Apparently, the Enemy never imagined it and thus saw his plans once again thwarted by our God who is Almighty!
For the Jewish parents this was a huge struggle, to know that their children must take on “Christian” names and have the appearance, if not in reality, a conversion to the Catholic faith. They feared the loss of their Jewish heritage. Yet, Irena, as much as she believed passionately in her Catholic faith, also honored the wishes of the parents and faithfully kept a record of where she placed each of these children, in hopes to restore them to their original families someday in the future. For the adoptive families, they loved these children as their own and then many of them had to reconcile them to their original families, knowing the children they raised as Christian, might now revert to Judaism.
Many hearts were torn, but all acted out of a love greater than themselves. In all of this, without full understanding, all of these people were moved by God. Because God is able!
Today, God wants to move each of us. We need the ability and courage to fulfill His purposes for our lives. Are we hoping in the Lord, waiting on the Lord, and expecting from the Lord according to His will? Does the wisdom we gain from the Bible bear fruit? My dear ones, take courage and hope in the Lord!