Must Jesus bear the cross aloneMust Jesus Bear the Cross Alone, Thomas Shepherd
And all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for ev’ry one,
And there’s a cross for me.
God, protect my brother who is hiding in the mountains. Guide my fleeing sister who carries your mark on her forehead. As the heathen rage and the people imagine vain things, give your children grace to love their persecutors. While Taliban militants hunt them day and night, be their Shepherd in the valley of death. They shall not lack anything, for they shall not lack you.
God, guard my brother and sister. Defend your body. You tell us not to worry over tomorrow, but today weighs heavy on our hearts. Fill their stomachs. Shelter them in a peaceful place. Comfort them with your Word. For those who are escaping from Afghanistan, guide them beneath your wing. For those who stay, shadow them in your presence.
Oh God, horrors multiply, and though we know you are a just Ruler over all things, we cry. While our daughters sleep peacefully, theirs are being added to the harams of the Taliban. Sons are being shot through as mothers watch. Husbands and wives bleeding together—beheaded, burned, and tortured.
The evil one regards your people as sheep to be slaughtered. And you have allowed those who are marked by your name to be killed all the day long. Yet, you see them. You have borne their sorrows. And because of your cross, they are more than conquerors. We honor them as they carry their crosses, following your example.
Oh, that like Joseph, could we kneel down and help them carry their crosses! If pain must come, why must it be so imbalanced? Why do we maw for trinkets while they bleed for righteousness? Must they bear their crosses alone?
Bottle up their tears. Keep them, Father. Record their sorrows in your book of martyrs. How long, oh Lord, how long until you judge and avenge their blood, until you bring evil and sin to its knees? How long until you break the back of the evil one?
Oh God, rescue my brother and sister!