There is so much drama and chaos going on in the world right now. Between suicide bombers, shootings of innocent babies, knuckleheads picketing at the funerals of said babies while claiming to speak for God, and general mayhem in the world, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed. While I am a person of faith, namely Christianity, I will not for one second pretend that I have all the answers. I don’t. I see what is going on and I shake my head. I question. Why things have to happen the way they do. Why God allows such awful things to happen. Why the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Don’t the good people deserve a bigger umbrella? Why does so much have to change?
As I’ve stood on the shifting sands and ponder all the stuff I don’t know, I have made a list of the stuff that I DO know, and it’s that stuff that carries me through the storms of doubt and misunderstanding.
1. Daddy said there’d be days like this.
Part of what I hate the most about the whole “prosperity, God wants you to be happy all the time” movement is that it just doesn’t jive with reality nor it is scriptural. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order (The Voice translation).”
You notice the “will”. Not “maybe” or “could” but WILL. Life is not always going to be fair. You’re not always going to win. Stuff will stink and be unexplainable BUT… we need not fear because Jesus triumphed over all of it. We can overcome because he did. It might not be a storybook ending, but we will come over it with his help.
2. God is a gentleman.
Revelation 3:20 says that Christ stands at our door and knocks. He doesn’t bust the door down and demand our attention. He doesn’t force us to acknowledge him, let along love him. God created us with free will. It’s part of what makes us in his image. We have the power to choose because love cannot exist without choice. We choose to love. Without choice, love would be slavery. God desires real connection and relationship with us, and for that to happen, we have to choose it.
Unfortunately, the flip side of that is that we can choose to be apart from him and engineer untold amounts of evil. God will not stop us from making awful choices. I personally believe that, through the Holy Spirit, he pleads with every soul to not make those choices. I think he sat right next to the hijackers on 9/11 up until they took over the plane. I believe he whispered in the ears of the brothers before they left behind those backpacks at the Boston Marathon. I wish he would have physically stopped them. Maybe have angels physically tackle them to the ground to protect the innocent, but he doesn’t.
3. God is love.
I know there is a lot of debate on this one, but regardless of some of the goofwads who have been allowed to speak on his behalf, God is love. He doesn’t hate anyone. John 3:16 says that God so loved THE WORLD. All of it. All the time. It doesn’t say, “God so loved the world… except the gay people… or the black people… or the brown people… or the green people.” It means all the people. Does he agree with everything that we do? Nope.
Romans 3:23 says, “You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail” (The Voice translation). All have sinned. All means all. Not just homosexuals or adulterers or child molesters or murders. All. Me. You. Your grandmother. Your momma. Everyone. We are all guilty. We like to make someone else’s sin worse than our own, but it’s not. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (New International Version).”
That’s why John 3:16 is GOOD NEWS. God so loved the world (and all our filthy rags) that he gave us his son that whoever believes HIM (not necessarily everyone who claims to speak for him) should have everlasting life. We’re all invited. We’re all included. Everyone who wants to gets to come to dinner. It’s that simple.
I think it can all be summed up in the chorus of a great Babbie Mason song:
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart
I don’t understand. I don’t have all the answers. Heck, some days I’m not sure what the questions are. BUT… because I know God and that he has my best interests at heart, I know that it will be okay. I can trust his heart.