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Drawing Near to Suffering

On June 1st, we had an awesome opportunity to attend the 2nd Phoenix Prayer Gather for International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is one of our #organizationgoals, as well as the largest anti-human trafficking agency in the world. The foundation of everything IJM does in the 17 countries they work in (from raids/rescue operations, bringing criminals to justice, strengthening justice systems, and restoration for survivors) is founded in prayer. The prayer gatherings being done in cities across the U.S. are dedicated to learning about their work and praying God’s power over it.

The two goals for the night were to:

1. Draw near to suffering

2. Give voice to yearning

The night was heavy as we learned about the prevalence and darkness of cyber sex trafficking in the Philippines. It was a night to pause and reflect on the horrors of the injustice we fight… and just sit in that pain for a while. Too many times we hear something horrible, wonder how we can help, give some money, pray a little, and move on. Because anything more is uncomfortable.

Rarely do we sit in the pain and grieve. And that is usually because that is the very thing we are avoiding in our own lives. It is not intuitive to sit in our own pain, look it straight in the eye, and figure out how to deal with it. But we must or else we risk numbing out. The brain cannot selectively shut down emotion. When we miss out on pain, we miss out on joy.

Our hope is that God is close to the brokenhearted. Don’t fear the pain, for if God is big enough to save children from cyber sex trafficking, He is big enough for your pain.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

-Psalm 34:18