“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:10-11)
Come Lord Jesus. Our world is full of hate and fear. The darkness threatens to swallow us up. Terror and death lurk around every corner.
We can’t claim we know when you are coming, although I wish we knew the hour and the day. But you ask us to walk in hope. You ask us to “straighten up and raise [our] heads” when these terrors are all around us. You say redemption is drawing near.
Sometimes right now it feels like we are living from fear to fear. From terrifying event to terrifying event; both in our personal lives and in the world around us. There’s nothing we can say that makes it okay, or better. And my “warmest condolences” don’t do jack.
But you God, you use everything. As I teach my three year old daughter, you are so powerful, that you can take even bad things and turn them into good things.
You are better than all the junk this world has to offer, and even in the midst of all the evil that it throws at us…you show up Jesus.
I saw You that night that the ambulance came for me…I saw You giving me each and every breath that I kept breathing, my body taunt like a harp string and numb from my toes to my nose.
I saw You use a tragic accident to heal broken family relationships.
I’ve seen You in the hopeful smile of the child who was sold by his parents to be killed for his organs. After he was rescued he just couldn’t stop smiling when he thought of meeting his new family, who already loved him and were praying for him before they even knew his name…because they are worshipers of You.
I’ve seen You in the workers who are serving hurricane victims, going where no one has yet gone; and when asked who they are, they say, “We are the Church of the Living God.”
I have seen You use divorce to inspire in my husband a passion for seeing marriages restored, and children given a place to call home.
I’ve seen You in my friends opportunity to share the gospel as she waits for her daughter to wake up from anesthesia after her latest spinal chemotherapy treatment.
I’ve seen You in the words of faith spoken by people who have lost more than I can imagine, and yet still rejoice in your goodness and your mercy and your grace…
I’ve seen You in the midst of a terrifying shooting at my high school alma mater, where three of my siblings were attending; those you brought to faith in you that day, those you strengthened in faith that day, and those who were ministered to by the faithful forgiveness offered by parents who lost their daughter to yet another act of senseless violence.