The Wealth of the Nations

~Melinda L. Willison

It’s a difficult task to carry the burden of the refugees. Their needs are great, even from the basic standpoint of food, clothing, and shelter.  Add to that the need for education, employment, and cultural adaptation and the burden becomes cumbersome.  Yet, Germany has absorbed refugees from over 10 nations in the last year, and even more historically.  More than one million refugees have arrived in Deutschland since January 2015, with nearly half making claim for asylum.  This was about 36% of all European asylum applications, with the second greatest influx falling on Hungary’s system with only 13% giving Germany 3 times the heaviest load to bear.[1],[2]

As a result, there is a great debate about the political, cultural, economic, and moral implications of this on the nation.   Both the general population and the Church are divided about how to manage all the facets of this global pandemic.  While the answers are not clear-cut, one thing is certain: God has presented a gift to Germany in gathering the nations amidst the borders.

The gift is wrapped up inside the people, the individuals, each one of over a million has brought something special to add to the wealth and heritage of Germany.  It is up to the Body of Christ to unwrap this gift so that its treasure may be known to the entire world. Though some have come for political reasons and others for religious reasons, but all have been ordained to be in this place and this time, which the Lord will bring together for His good purpose.

Interacting with individuals in one region, through strategic relationship building their stories begin to unfold revealing significant value of life.  In this mining process to discover the gems within gifts, talents, passions, and determination are unearthed.  Doctors, Engineers of all disciplines, Aristocrats, Business Owners, Artists Musicians, Bakers and Chefs, Religious Leaders, Artisans, Tile-layers, Dentist, and even former soldiers have gathered.  Not simply the poor and destitute, as often envisioned in reference to a refugee, instead the educated and affluent are sitting on Germany’s doorstep.

Much like Jesus, the King of Kings, entered Jerusalem they did not enter the land with ease or simplicity.  They left behind family, friends, possessions, their own heritage and culture to join that of Germany.  In the process they came through great trials.  Those who have arrived survived feats such as floating across the sea to the shores of Greece and then trekking through as many as nine nations via a secret trail, not unlike America’s Underground Railroad. Along the way, lives are lost, hunger takes its toll, the weather and terrain wear, and cash cow traffickers exploiting every opportunity.   Fear and exhaustion are washed away by hope and determination so that in the end the youthful, the strong, and the endearing are the ones that made it.  There is not a weak one among the multitude, those were lost along the way, or perhaps never even mustered the courage for the journey.

In conversation, the desire to further their education, to work, to contribute are foremost.  By a far majority, these hard-working and capable people want to make a life and be independent rather than moochers.  They want to do more than drain the system of its resources- they want to be a resource.  With all the knowledge, skill, and vitality carried with them Germany has been given the gift of God’s intelligent creation to enhance and increase her own heritage.  They have not been brought to overtake or to replace, but rather as an addition.  This same gift was given to America during both the Colonial and Industrial Eras.  What the nation does with the gift will determine the future success.

What must Germany do?  The Body of Christ within Germany has been called to lead or parent, entertain or fellowship, and minister to the needs of their body, mind, and spirits as they face rebuilding and reestablishing their lives. This is not as simple as facilitating assimilation into the national culture.  Neither is it as self-righteous as simply focusing on religious conversion. It is about getting to know each one, encouraging them, and mentoring their advancement as an individual so that they may be contributing and productive members of the community at large. God’s Word and His Will have ordained these circumstances. Walking out the journey and transition according to His Desire and His Word will yield an ample harvest.

God’s heart is revealed in The Holy Scripture[3].  The refugee is present throughout The Word.  Notable references include:  flee is stated over 116 times, stranger 198 times and stranger in the land 27 times, while refuge appears 46 times.  More specifically, Matthew writes Jesus’ command in chapter 10, “When they persecute you in this city, flee into another…. Fear them not therefore, for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Looking back, Isaiah 60 also gave notice to “Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.” This is a message to both the refugee and the refuge as a confirmation that God has commanded those under persecution to go to a new place without harboring fear, and so they may also be received without fear because God is in control despite all appearances to the contrary.

Why?  According to Deuteronomy 32:9-12, “The Lord’s portion is His people, Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.  As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:  So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”  Moreover, Hebrews 13, a chapter known for its theme of love, expounds, “Let brotherly love continue.  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.”  God has called, even commanded His people to love our human brothers, there were no religious or cultural parameters placed on this edict. Instead, He warns that among them will be angels. This is both figurative and literal in the current state.   There are displaced persons whose hearts and spirits are so precious, they are angels, or rather a blessing to encounter. In the refugee camps, and refugee housing complexes there are angels of the Lord encompassing to fulfill their duties to protect and to minister.  Additional, The Creator of the Universe has made His children, His followers, to be His very own ministers and us a flame of fire to set forth His scepter of righteousness (Hebrews 1:7-8).  There is heavenly power and authority in loving others, as well as, heavenly interactions that draw us closer to the heart of God. Entertaining one another in and through His love draws us closer to Him.

The beauty of it all is that while nations rise and fall now, as they always have and always will, the Glory of the Lord will stand forever so that His purpose will be established, and His good pleasure will be accomplished according to Isaiah 40.  So, it is with Germany who has stood as a tower of refuge, to provide safety from the enemy.  There is a destiny purpose behind this role in the unfolding of God’s providential plan.  This is Germany’s reward; it is a new legacy to replace that which the enemy of the Kingdom of God sought to establish. Now, God will take what the enemy meant for bad and restore it as His body walks out as His flame of fire ministering and loving the treasures He has brought to you from the nations.

This inheritance is not solely available to Germany, but the His whole body.  His Word is not just for this nation, but for all His children. Embrace those He has brought within your reach, your territory in the name and love of Christ, so that we all might walk in a deeper relationship with God The Father.  “For he has made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him,” (Acts 17: 26-27).  Let our prayer be that God would open our eyes to ses as He sees when we look on the face of fellow man, and that He would give us the wisdom for the course of action that would lead to authentic relationship with them and with Him in Jesus Name, Amen.

Summer 2016: MSU College of Theology

[1], Asylum Information Database. Web. 26 August 2016.

[2], BBC News. Web. 26 August 2016.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. Belgium: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2001.