When bad things happen, we spin in frightened circles trying desperately to understand, to make sense. We frantically search for right or wrong answers, we seek to make blame, we grasp quickly for control over whatever we can still reach or touch. But, God, I hear you cry, stop. Just stop. Stop and listen. I hear you whisper, pull your head and ears away from this world's cry of rage and hear my cry of pain for my created ones. I desperately long to show my loving kindness, my compassionate grace, and my merciful forgiveness to ALL my created ones. Turn to me, come to me. Those who are weary and burdened. I offer rest and and a home for your pain. Lament, weep, and mourn deeply. Cry out in rage - not to each other - but to me. Scream in anguish, ask me your questions and share your turmoil. Come to me, listen to me. I am God Almighty, Creator of all. I have the power and enough love to hold this entire world and every person in it in the palm of my hands. I can hold you and them, I can comfort you and them, and I died for you and them. Yes, speak of MY love for that has more power. Speak of MY kindness and compassion for that has more power. Speak of my sovereignty, of my greatness - of my ability to overcome - for that has more power. Don't you get it? I am not sleeping, I am not unaware. I work and move in ALL of creation. Just simply turn your eyes to me. Look to me, trust in me.
I know God is saying this to me, and maybe you have a heart that will receive it too.
God has loved us with an everlasting love. He didn't create us to be pitted against one another. He created us for communion, for community. He never desired for us to be so divided and He is always calling us to repentance and calling us to love.
His Word tells us in Matthew 5, "blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted". And contrary to popular belief, this has less to do with death and loss and all to do with sin. This verse is telling us that when we mourn our sin, God comforts and forgives. And it's not just a mourning of our own sin, but of our nations sin as well. We are to lament, to grieve deeply not just THOSE people's sin, but our own. I weep and repent over my own depravity, my own propensity to stray and live without love.
We must ask ourselves, do we spend more time grieving over others choices, actions, and sins then we do our own? Grieve the sins of this nation, yes. Cry out in rage and lament to our Father over the evil you see and experience. BUT, please I urge you, do NOT forget to look deeply inward. Do not forget to invite the Father to "examine for any anxious way". Ask our God for His mercy, and repent. Repent of an unwillingness to love as He does - without condition and without merit. Repent of an insistent to do things on your own. Repent for thinking you know best. Repent for those ugly things we hide from others and hold in our hearts.
Will you join me? I need forgiveness. I need His mercy. I realize that my need for God is as great as my neighbors. My constant need for surrender is no less than any other person in this world. We all need Him, and we need each other. And we need love. But it's not the love that is selective or conditional. It's a love that only comes from our own capacity to live in His love, receive His love, to know His love.
You will not hear me protest or rage against a system. You will not hear political opinions or hashtag statements from my social media. And, I don't I apologize for that. However, I will shout of God's everlasting love from the rooftops over and over again. I will declare of His goodness and faithfulness. I will fight to share and show His love. I will speak of His power. The one who is faithful will overcome. I can't get that old chorus out of my head...
"He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands."
It goes onto say He's got you and me, and everyone in His hands. See, that's the thing. He has the WHOLE world in His hands. He doesn't pick and choose sides, He does not offer a divided heart. He is wholly and completely devoted to His creation. I don't have any practical answers or eloquent statements. I just know, He cares, He sees, and He knows. And He calls us to love and mercy. He calls us to peace. He calls us to prayer and surrender. I am just completely confident that God is aware. Hope is secured in the heart of the Father. Seek to have His heart, and there peace will be found.