With news of families being separated at borders, closing borders and wall-building, it’s easy to feel deflated about the refugee crisis. The UN reported that in 2018 there has been an average of 25.4 million refugees so far. How can I make a difference in a problem so big?

Home is where God’s heart is

Feeling overwhelmed and powerless, I needed to get away from all the bad news. I decided to tune everything out, put my headphones on and go for a walk. As I began walking, I heard something in a song that stopped me in my tracks.

‘When we were lost ones
You were the shepherd that carried us home.
When we were refugees,
You were the one who took us in.’

 Sounds of Adoration
Jesus Culture
Jesus Culture Music (2017)

Those lyrics really challenged me. It made me reflect on the enormous and beautiful world that God has given to all of us. It made me realise that we can all relate to the ongoing refugee crisis, because we have all been lost at one point. There are millions of people looking for respite, love and safety and God calls us to welcome them with open arms and love. Spiritually and physically. It made me think, would we have treated Jesus the same way we treat refugees in our community?

Enough room to care

Mary and Joseph, were essentially refugees in their own country. They had to search for a place to give birth and then flee from a murderous Herod. People refused to let them stay, saying ‘it was too full’ and ‘there’s no room for you.’ I can’t even imagine how both Mary and Joseph felt when being turned away. It wasn’t until one innkeeper allowed them to stay in his stable, that Mary was able to find a place to give birth to Jesus. We should all be like that innkeeper.

We are called to love others and do what we can to help meet their needs. Even if it means you’re the only person to stand up for what’s right. If that one inn keeper didn’t allow Mary and Joseph to stay, they could’ve struggled the whole night. We may not be required to spare a room for the Messiah to be born, but we should be on the lookout to love and help others. It shouldn’t matter if someone comes from a different country, Jesus came into this world for everyone.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the millions of refugees trying to escape war, persecution and natural disasters, be like that innkeeper. Instead of walking away from the problem, open up your heart in prayer. Ask God to use you to make a difference and ask that He would meet their present need.