Sometimes this world is too much, you know? There is so much to weigh on us. Death, war, destruction, disease. Unrest.
Fighting. Oh dear God, the fighting. I write ‘Oh dear God’ as a plea, not a flippant curse. I read the news and that’s often bad. But then– I know I shouldn’t– I read the comments on the news. If anything makes me despair of the wellness of humanity it is reading the comments on controversial topics. I’m horrified of atheists. Ashamed of Christians. Flabbergasted by the nuts. Amused by the sardonic.
Often I find myself wondering, “Lord God, how do you bear us at all?”
We make a mockery of the sanctity of life. With great gnashing of teeth we fight and argue and slander and scream our own personal views. We don’t hear each other. Nor can we possibly dream of changing one another in such a manor.
Like many people, I was waiting to hear the decision made by a certain grand jury yesterday. I am married to a police officer and I have watched this case closely for a lot of reasons. I know there could come a day that my husband has to defend himself. Oh, how I pray for that to never happen. Every time he leaves for work, we say, “Come home to us.” My girls don’t understand why we say that, but it is our habit. My other secret prayer is, “Lord Jesus, please protect him from having to hurt someone else in order to come home.”
That grand jury decided that the officer was justified. They saw evidence and heard testimony that we didn’t and they chose not to charge him.
A Mama lost her son. A community is hurting. An officer’s career is over. He undoubtedly has a target on his back. A great many people feel that their voice was not heard, that they are hated by others for the color of their skin. It is with great sadness that I know they are right. That doesn’t mean the officer felt that way. We will never know how he felt, we only know that the grand jury decided, based on the evidence, that he acted as one who felt his life was in danger. He did what he was trained to do in a dangerous situation to go home to his family.
A community is hurting for many reasons. And arguing, looting, vandalizing, shouting, reporting…nothing, and no one can make it better. They are not alone in their pain and unrest. We–all of us–are a people that only see and do what is right in our own eyes. We were born sinners. And as such, we kill our own children, commit suicide when life is too hard, judge families for decisions they make in situations we’ve never been in. We kill our spouses for the insurance money. We lie and break promises. We shout at each other, scream verses from the Bible out of context to justify our actions. We sell women and children for money to men that rape them for their own sick pleasures. We behead those that don’t believe with us and stand with our cause. We grasp for power and step on anyone and any law that is in our way to get it. I say “we” because all are without excuse. Before I surrendered my life to the Lord, I only saw my own way as well. Now it is a constant battle between my flesh and His spirit within me and I don’t always do the right thing. I won’t be perfect this side of heaven. I have no desire to point fingers when I am guilty in other ways of dishonoring the Lord.
Lord God, how do You bear us at all?
Oh, but He does.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
When I was a kid, Revelation scared me to death. Plagues, destruction, death–misery. It’s a frightening book. And I think it should be. Every foretelling of war should make us shudder. Armageddon tells of the destruction of those that are not on God’s side in the final war. To be outside of His camp at any time in our life — but most especially at our death– that is (and should be) a very scary place. One we want to run from. There is a beautiful side of Revelation, however. Where we see God’s will made complete. A new heaven. A new earth. A world without sin or anger or hatred or tears or death or sorrow. A world where the Trinity is appropriately glorified.
A world with Jesus as the light.
Jesus said His coming is imminent. Maybe it’s soon, maybe it’s not so soon by our standards, but regardless, it is imminent. We only have so much time; our life is but a whisper and then it’s gone. Eternity is the loud trumpet of forever. Revelation no longer scares me because I know the end: God wins. And because of Jesus Christ’s atonement for my sins, I’m on His side and I have nothing to fear.
While we wait, this world will make us ache. In Christ there is unmatched joy – because we know the end result. But beacuse we live in a broken world, coupled with that joy is pain. This will pass away. The pain of injustice, the pain of choices made by others, the entrapment of slavery, the weariness of putting aside ourselves for the betterment of another. We all have pain we are grappling with and while our pain may come in waves as joy enters in…all of this world will pass away. And in the end, the only answer, the only peace, the only source of true love, the only hope is Christ.
In Christ alone will this world be made right.
Would you join me in prayer for so many innocent people in Ferguson that are hurting today? Their community has caved in around them. Would you pray for the officer who did what he felt he had to do to protect himself? Would you pray for the family that is missing their young man? No matter what his choices, he was a son, and his parents are hurting. Would you pray for those that are looting and setting fire to buildings and choosing violence as their answer? The need Jesus, too.
Let’s stop shouting and arguing and yelling and cling tightly to Christ. He is it. The only answer. The only way.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.