On Sunday I returned from Egypt. While there, I was struck by the beautiful godly attitude I saw displayed in the lives of followers of Jesus. Even though they are living in a country that is in great turmoil, their lives are displaying the love, joy, and peace of the Spirit of God in a clear and fresh way. And as they display the true heart of God towards others, they are dispelling some of the prejudices that Muslims have against Christians.
Reflecting on this reminded me of a story that Henry Nouwen shared in his article, Moving from Solitude to Community to Ministry. It was a story about a little river. The little river was determined to be a big river and it worked hard to become one. It faced all kinds of obstacles – a rock, then a wall, and then a forest – and each time it pushed and pushed its way through, becoming bigger and stronger as it went. The river eventually reached a desert, and though it was determined to make its way through it, it couldn’t. Then it heard a voice from above telling it to surrender. When it did, the sun lifted the river up into a cloud, brought it over the desert and released it as life-giving rain into fields that became fruitful.
After sharing this story, Henry Nouwen remarked:
There is a moment in our life when we stand before the desert and want to do it ourselves. But there is the voice that comes, “Let go. Surrender. I will make you fruitful. Yes, trust me. Give yourself to me.”

What profound words these are, and so very opposite to our human instincts. For me, it was wonderful to see how believers in the country of Egypt are seeking a fresh intimacy with God to make their lives fruitful. They are learning to release the desire to take control and do things in their own strength, and are instead giving everything up to God, trusting that he will work out his purposes in their lives.
Just this week, a short video was released by a church in the south of the country, in a place called Minya. Standing in the midst of their burned-out church, they courageously made a video reflecting on forgiveness. What an amazing testimony in a time of such turmoil! May we, too, seek in our hearts this purpose God has called us to – to bring healing and hope to the nations. I hope this inspires you as it has inspired me.
Director Arab World Media
(Romans 8:28)