Pastor Mike’s Garage March 3rd, 2022

*Pastor Mikes Garage-March 3/2022*

The other night I found myself sitting in front of the TV, as many of us
are right now, glued to the coverage of the events unfolding in the
Ukraine. That night they were covering the story of a six-year-old girl who
had perished because of a bomb blast and later in the same news broadcast
they covered the story of a children’s cancer ward which had to be shut
down to treat wounded soldiers. The pictures of a sick, scared
five-year-old girl in her mother’s arms in the back of a vehicle, as they
made arrangements to hopefully get to Poland to continue her treatment,
broke my heart.

I’ll admit I have delusions of grandeur from time to time so as I sat there
the thought crossed my mind, maybe I should grab my hunting rifle and join
the cause. How could I sit idly by as children the same age as my own were
suffering. Shortly thereafter reality set in! A guy in his fifties, just
off a hip replacement, needing another, with a catheter waiting for another
surgery, would likely be more of a hindrance than an asset in the fight! As
much as I think I am some kind of hero in the waiting, I soon realized that
with another human being in the sights of my gun I would likely be unable
to pull the trigger. My thoughts went to, well I could shoot out tires! But
then the reality of what I’ve seen soldiers go through in the hardships of
even being involved in any kind of war brought me back to the cold hard
truth that I probably don’t have what it takes!

A number of years ago when I was directing a youth centre in Kipling with
Youth For Christ the community was undertaking the task of raising funds to
build a new hospital. I was invited to a meeting they were having with all
of the service groups in Kipling. During the presentation they suggested
each of us consider donating $15,000-$20,000 to the project. Now in light
of the millions they were trying to raise I’m sure this didn’t seem
unreasonable to them, but considering that amount was more than our entire
operating budget for the year at the time, it was overwhelming to me! I can
remember thinking as I drove back to the youth centre from the presentation
“Well, we won’t be a part of that plan!” No sooner had that thought crossed
my mind than another came in which I believe was planted there by God. Just
because we can’t give the impossible, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and do

Last night during the news broadcast they were showing a few of the
captured Russian soldiers, and the strange thing is I found my heart
breaking for them as well. They were basically just boys, caught in a
battle not of their choosing, scared, alone, broken! The thought crossed my
mind once again, what could I do to make a difference? What should I do as
a Christian? Who is the real enemy here? The news keeps showing the
propaganda that Putin is feeding the Russian people, but I am not foolish
enough to think that our governments and media do not put their own slant
on what they are feeding us as well! Trust me when I tell you that greed,
perversion, self-righteous protection and dishonesty are not solely Russian
traits and magically stop at its borders! They are not solely communist or
socialist traits either! They are not solely the traits of other religions
or races! They are human traits and we are all likely just as guilty! In
some ways to say we will pray for any given situation seems trite in light
of a conflict and suffering of this magnitude, but in reality, it is likely
the most effective thing we can do! We serve a God who sees the thoughts
and intents of the hearts! He’s the only one who really knows what’s going
on! He’s the only one who can truly make a difference in the thoughts and
hearts of men! Now He may just call us to take some further form of action
but we should always start with petitioning for His heart, understanding
and will first to gain wisdom, understanding and an appropriate course of

I will close with some verses that came to mind as I sought understanding
in this situation.

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless
them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live
in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of
ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” Romans 12:14-16

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil
rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this
dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’ and hate your
enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In
that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For
he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on
the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:43-45

“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he
requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly
with your God.” Micah 6:8

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of
orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17

Pastor Mike