The day was beautiful, but it was ugly, too.
Baltimore erupts into violence, anti-white activism.
Death toll exceeds 3,800 in Nepal earthquake.
2 days until Supreme Court hears historic marriage equality case.
ISIS beheading Christians in Ethiopia.
Without the news reports, my world would be small. Like the barefoot little feet that run laps around me.
But, I know it is not.
And I am bothered.
It is not only the violence and the torture and the death that weigh so heavily on my heart.
It’s the ease in which we are distracted, even blinded by some topics of debate, while allowing other extraordinary catastrophes of human suffering pass by with not as much as a second glance.
We can speak so passionately in the name of justice, yet turn a deaf ear to a dying world that is sick for the love that we argue everyone deserves.
I am outraged. And I am guilty.
And yet, I sing a prayer with my toddler before his snack –
“God, our Father; God, our Father, once again. Once again, we bow our heads to thank you; we bow our heads to thank you. Amen. amen.”
In the midst of all the chaos, in the midst of all the ugly I want so desperately to shield him from, I find my portion and my peace — in God our Father. I can still give thanks.
I think of my Jesus, and His anger.
We remember the story. He is in the Temple, and He turns over the tables.
In Matthew 21, we are told He drove out all who were buying and selling there – those who were slandering the place of worship, focused on their profit instead. Outraged at a world distracted from all that is Holy and true.
We may forget that this event occurs shortly after He is welcomed into Jerusalem as King and before He is betrayed and beaten as a criminal. In between the beautiful and the ugly, He is there, ready to make things right.
We just need Him. We need Him like a King, and we need Him like the sacrifice that made a way for us to God. We need to learn what concerned Him and why? He was the embodiment of love, yet He could not tolerate deception, nor selfish gain.
If we claim to carry His name as Christian, we must wear it – in boldness and truth.
So today, I am challenged. I am desiring to love in a way that is Holy and eternal. I am seeking the path of my Savior, and I am outraged by an enemy that is destroying again and again.
Yet, we know Who wins, and when it is time for all to be made right, He will turn more than tables upside down.
Friends, if your hearts are hurting, I ask you to join me in action.
Pray. Pray with me for revival in this world, for brothers and sisters to accept the invitation to trust and obey in the eternal name of Jesus. Pray for truth to be revealed. Pray for hearts to seek God, for ours to do so more deeply each day. Pray for God to put Christ followers in positions that will influence leadership and the future of our nation. Pray that we use whatever platform we have to speak life.
Give. Give a smile or hello to encourage someone in need. We all are. Give of your resources or time to minister to those hurting and in need of the Healer.
Stand. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
Equip us, Lord, for the mission ahead. We know you can make even the worst into something worthy.
So, even now, we will say…
God our Father, once again, we bow our heads to thank you. Amen.
Friends, did you read or hear or see the news reports today and feel overwhelmed? How do you explain all the ugly to your children? How do you reconcile all the bad with the good? We’ve been told to be ready; how do you know if you are? He is coming again, dear friends. Each day is grace for those who have yet to meet Him. Let us introduce our friends before it is too late. Oh friends, one day, it will be too late.