I have so many joyful post titles lately. ;)
Last week when I first heard the news break of this story, I responded as most people- in shock and utter dismay of the evil in this world. I started crying hysterically as it sunk in- that this REALLY happened, and not far from my home.
That was a week ago and I still feel completely distraught by it. Even to the point where I was unable to fall asleep for several hours last night, replaying in my head this young boy’s cries to spare his life and that he loved his mom, to please not do this. I’d go back and forth between heart-wrench- mode and angry- revenge- mode where I envisioned myself in the neighboring house hearing the cries, and breaking into the house and attacking the mother and saving the young children from their brutal death.
This tragedy has me despaired, my heart cut to the core.
Maybe its because I have a 7 year old son. I know his joy and his creativity and unbridled passion for the simple things in life. This is the first year I see he is starting to figure out the hardships in the real world, and at the end of the day he finds refuge in me, his mom, who he knows would do anything to defend and protect him. He finds comfort in knowing he has a loving, safe and secure family that loves him and supports him and that hovers over him in danger.
Maybe its because I am a mom. My mother’s heart would give anything for my sons- anything they needed. I feel defeated, beaten, drained, frustrated, and overwhelmed with the rest of them, but at the end of my hardest days as a mom, I would still lay down my life for one of my sons in a heartbeat.
But probably it is because of the reality of the presence of evil in this world. Murder, fallen economy, broken families, innocent bloodshed, war, sex trafficking, poverty, kidnapping, political corruption, starvation, disease, natural disasters, death.
But, my GOD is GOOD.
I feel like a lot of the time, I put God in a box. I start to think He thinks like I do, and is in control of my own little world. But more than ever this year I am experiencing God’s power and might and how He is SO much BIGGER than me and my own worldview. I love how this commentary (on Genesis 6) says it:
“How great is God’s grace and patience with people, in Noah’s time and now! Why does God not crush the ‘fool’ who denies His reality (Psalm 14:1)? Why does God wait patiently for the person who ignores Christ’s suffering and death to deliver him from sins of emptiness, and says he has no time for Him or His word? Christ said that the first and all-important commandment is to love God with all your heart, strength, and mind, and the second, to love your neighbor (Matthew 22: 37-39) The universal sins of continued, blatant indifference to God, of hate and murder, of sexual immorality, all demand God’s judgement. Surely God should immediately act in His authority and justice by wiping out such personal ingratitude to Him that pollutes His world today. Yet, God waits in grace, giving men, women, and children and opportunity to repent, or turn from their indifference, to believe in Him. Have you pushed God to the margins of your life? This is an illusion. God is central in everything and will fulfill everything He has said.” (Bible Study Fellowship, Study of Genesis)
This was the charge given to a National Geographic photographer- “Celebrate what is right with the world, rather than wallow what is wrong with it.” (Thanks, Scott Hodge)
I find great purpose is that statement! The world is pretty terrible right now, but there are so many things that represent goodness and beauty! Michael’s devotion to me, Trevor’s passion in creating art, Elliott’s joy and loyalty, Simon’s decision to obey when he is told no :), my friend that builds me up and encourages me when I feel like I’m going to explode, the laughter between my children and their friends, the colorful sunset, a steaming hot cup of coffee (1st or 8th of the day…), a warm fire in a quiet napping house, whole, healthy foods to eat, a smile from a stranger, and the beautiful autumn trees.
I already feel better. Something I learned a few years ago was that FEAR cannot co-exist with THANKFULNESS. Now when I think of the two precious lives taken last week, I thank God that He is in control, and I am not. He is good when the world is evil. He loves those two children more completely and wholly than I can imagine and is making all things new.
So I am going to do as Christ said and love God with my whole heart and live a life of love. With His power in me, I can breathe life, joy, and love into the broken world around me and reflect His glory and Hope for humanity.