On the same day a teenager gunned down cute little kids in Texas, I smiled and talked to strangers on my morning walk, then gawked at giant creamy magnolia blooms, like I didn’t have a care.
How can this juxtaposition exist? Horror, evil and death occur in the same world that’s home to incredible beauty in nature and humans.
Who doesn’t at times ask why didn’t God stop this? I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and I know such atrocities come from pure evil; from our enemy, Satan. I know, but I find myself unintentionally spurting through tears, “Couldn’t you have stopped just this one?”
Everyone seems to have answers. Supposed solutions are emitted by loud hateful voices, dismissing any opinion but their own. Before small caskets are constructed and grief- crushed families host funerals, the diatribe concentrates into political fights.
How is a follower of Jesus supposed to make sense of all this? How are we intended to live in such a world? We’re here for good, like it or not. We’re in this world yet we are not products of the world order. We overhear Jesus speaking to His Father in John 17:15, “ Do not take them out of this world; protect them from the evil one.”
We weren’t created for this world. God’s original plan was the Eden-life. We were made in the image of God, the Master Designer. Fashioned to enjoy beauty, to love each other and to be overseers of this incredible planet called Earth. Eden is unimaginable to us now.
Here we are, millenniums later, living with ramifications of the sins of first parents, Adam and Eve. Should we scrape by however we can, hoping at best for a few years of happiness along the way? We say we know Jesus. We try to be good Christians. We go to church and sing songs. We occasionally bring a meal and pray for the bereaved. Is there something more? Have we tapped into our full inheritance? Or do we squander the crucial potential Jesus gave us to navigate life?
As Christ followers, we have to live what we believe.
We need to be normal radical Christians.
We need to radically love.
Not just our friends and families. We need to get out of our holy bubbles and really love our neighbors. Everybody. Give a word of encouragement, pray with them, meet their tangible needs in some way.
We need to pray like never before.
Pray as we go about our day. Keep our concentration on Jesus. Gather friends and pray and fast regularly. Our country is in trouble and most of us (preaching to myself) go on living like everything’s rosy. The solid moorings are crumbling. We need to pray continually for revival.
We need to meditate on the miracle of Christianity.
It’s the only belief system in history whose leader died and came back from death. King Jesus rose from the grave. He took the penalty that we deserved and died on a cross. He resides in Heaven and we’ll be with Him when we die. Over 400 people witnessed His resurrection. It’s not a fairy tale.
Share the good news.
Don’t argue or beat people over the head. The Holy Spirit will draw them. Share the wonderful message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice. People are desperate for hope and love.
Remember His miraculous power that lives inside us.
Jesus gave His Holy Spirit to believers when He left the earth. He’s our Comforter and gives us wisdom and direction. Jesus couldn’t be with everyone at once in His human body, but His Spirit is present with us all the time. The Holy Spirit who lives in us is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 8:11)
Celebrate with believers.
It’s never right for Christians to live alone. We need each other and the world needs to see our unity as representative of the Body of Christ. Have parties. Share meals. Enjoy doing life together. We have much to celebrate.
Yes, there is much that can be done by way of legislation and electing officials who will act morally and do away with the prevalent nonsense. I’m writing this, however, to remind us the answers to our problems aren’t only political. God is sovereign over our world. We need to get back to calling on Him and believing He is the answer.
“As I bow before you Lord
I will rise in confidence
I will see Your goodness, Lord
In the land I’m livin’ in
No matter where I go
And no matter where I’ve been
I will see your goodness, Lord
In the land I’m livin’ in
Sing it to the daughters
Sing it to the sons,
To every generation
Look at what the Lord has done
Sing it to the darkness
That the light has come
Sing it to the nations
Look at what the Lord has done”
Song lyrics excerpted from Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser