By: Holly Wagner
As I write this, chaos is evident all over the planet. Darkness seems to cover the Earth today. Around the world, millions of human beings are trapped in slavery, hundreds of millions don’t have access to clean water, billions are experiencing severe poverty. There are more orphans than ever before, and millions of desperate Syrian refugees are looking for a place to call home. Headlines of war and disaster shout at us every day from the Internet, our television and newspapers.
In his book Half the Sky, Nicholos Kristoff writes about the marginalization of women that happens all over the globe. From sex trafficking and ‘bride burning’ (the dousing of a woman with kerosene and then being set alight), to denial of medical care and basic nutrition because families would choose to care for male children rather than females, women are treated as second-class citizens. I read an article in the New York Times that described ISIS’ theology of rape. The members of ISIS seize young women to be used as their slaves. They pray before they rape the young girls they have captured, then when it is over, they pray again. These men say that because the young woman is not a ‘believer’ they are allowed to rape her. There are certainly big global injustices.
And on a closer level, cancer has struck more and more families, loved ones are addicted to drugs or alcohol, abuse has caused wounded souls, divorce has torn apart homes. Yes, there has never been more pain, more disease, more famine, and more heartbreak on the planet than there is right now, yet God has trusted you and I with this moment in history! We are to be a force for good on the Earth. When everything around us is in the midst of chaos, when we are surrounded by darkness, we are to be the she that rises.
There are a number of times in the Bible when a woman rose up out of a dark situation to bring strength. In the dark days of disorder and confusion during the time of the Judges, when Israel vacillated in their worship of God, a woman named Deborah rose like a mother in Israel. God used her to lead the Israelites to freedom. In a terrifying moment, when her people were threatened with genocide, Queen Esther risked her own life to rescue them. Because of her courage to rise in dark times, a nation of people was saved.
It is our obligation as daughters of the King to rise in the storms and not let them sink us.
The world is watching to see God in us.
I think I was born for such a time as this. I was born to help bring the love of God to my generation…so were you! But storms get in our way. In my thirty years of ministering to people, I have seen people make amazingly stupid choices while in the midst of challenging times (I’ve made some too). We can all make decisions in our dark times that jeopardize our dreams and goals.
All throughout life we need to make decisions that produce the future we want. It is the same when we are in a storm. We must choose actions, however hard they might be in the moment, that will get us to shore in one piece! We don’t want to make choices that merely create another storm.
When we (scholar, historian, or average person) evaluate our presidents, we choose the best, based on the magnitude of the crisis during which he led: George Washington for his leadership during the American Revolution; Abraham Lincoln for his guidance during the time when our country was torn in two; Franklin D. Roosevelt for his authority during the Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor. When we go through difficulties, we think life is terrible; but it was the difficulties these men faced that led to their greatness.
There is greatness within you, and it becomes apparent as you go through your storm. You were born for this moment. If you have been entrusted with leadership, you can do this. Don’t let the global crises or your own crisis overwhelm you. Greater is the Spirit of God in you. He will give you what you need to navigate this moment and He will lead us–the Church together–as we seek to be a solution to all the need around us.
Holly Wagner and her husband, Philip, are the Pastors of Oasis Church–a growing, relevant, multi-cultural, church located in Los Angeles. They have been married for over 30 years, love life and enjoy spending time with their two adult children, Jordan and Paris. Holly is passionate about seeing women become who God has designed them to become, and to see every generation of woman extend a helping hand to the generation that is younger. Through the women’s ministry of Oasis, She Rises (GodChicks), she has empowered thousands of women around the world. Holly has written several books including Find Your Brave, WarriorChicks, Love Works, and Awakened.
The Rising is going to be a life changing weekend with hundreds of girls at DAR Constitution Hall, plus guest speakers Holly Wagner, Lisa Bevere and Jo Saxton. Who are you bringing? Don’t wait to REGISTER!
“It was amazing how in this hall full of women, I felt as though the speaker was talking directly to me. I was near tears the first night.” –Kelsey