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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Another assassination in Pakistan

It was in July of last year that I was made aware of the violent threats that were being made against Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities' Affairs, and the only Christian member in the Cabinet.  At that time, I was informed that this brother in the Lord had pled, passionately, that we in the 'free west' would take one minute to pray for him every day.
Having made him an integral part of my daily devotions ever since, I was more than usually shocked when I heard, on this morning's radio news, that he had just been assassinated - the second high-profile Pakistani politician to have been thus murdered, in just a few weeks.  In each case, the reason for the assassination has been the victim's opposition to Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws.

In such a situation, I find myself questioning.  I know that prayer works. I also know that this was not the outcome for which I had been praying.  The only answer that makes any sense is that, as the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah: "'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the Lord.  'And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" (Isa 55:8-9; NLT).

I continue to believe, as did my brother Shahbaz, in the sovereignty of God.  I continue to believe that His will is perfect.  I continue to believe that He is, regardless of how the situation may look to my eyes, working out His own purposes.  I see everything from the limited perspective of created time; He sees everything from the perspective of eternity - an eternity in which Shahbaz Bhatti is praising the Lord for Whose Name he died.

Was it just 'coincidence' that a former fellow-student at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, who had taken on the task of reuniting as many of us as he could contact sent, today, some further instalments of this epistle that he has produced - in one of which he gave this quotation from a former BTI Lecturer and, later, Principal?

Christians too may be puzzled by the ways of God, but He has given us such affirmations of His holiness, grace and wisdom in the cross and resurrection of Jesus that faith is constantly renewed as it contemplates these wonderful facts in a spirit of trustful worship.’ (Geoffrey Grogan)

In such a spirit of worship, I commend the family and friends of Shahbaz Bhatti to the gracious embrace of the living God - Who knows, Himself, what such a loss is like.  May they be filled with His peace, and surrounded by His loving strength.

1 comment:

CannuckCol said...

We also have Pauls words, which we pray the surviving family will be considering. "Forto me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"