Weeks have gone by without writing, because I’ve been savoring this sweet summer with my nearly one-year-old daughter. Though I live the typical cloistered motherhood life for now, I choose not to disconnected from the newsfeed of the world. Something I remember registering when Heidi passed so suddenly was that I was not the only one suffering, in tremendous pain, unspeakably devastated, questioning God. It felt like the world around me was silent, content, and peaceful, but even though I “felt” that way didn’t mean it was true. The truth is I met and continue to meet people who are suffering serious hardships. The truth is – the world is always suffering, because it’s tainted by evil.
This Sunday morning, a breezy July day, my husband and I woke up late and after much discussion resigned ourselves to staying home for personal, rather than corporate, worship. We played some uplifting music and then sat on our porch to watch an online sermon. The moment seemed so tranquil but the message was not about tranquility. Rather it was about standing strong in the midst of a raging storm…
Side note- As Matt Chandler says in the beginning, online sermons shouldn’t replace the local community of believers and the authority of a locally designated theological teacher; but when on such days as this, or during a personal time of study, online Christian resources are very beneficial. So, we watched this:
At this time in my life, I’m experiencing a reprieve from pain, but everyone is either going into pain, leaving pain behind, experiencing pain full force. We’re always in one of those three scenarios. As we know, there are a few in our communities who aren’t being directly effected by grief and sorrow, but there are others outside of our immediate communities who are being effected by tremendous pain – families who lost their son or brother or friend in the Orlando massacre, French citizens who have been viciously attacked and are reeling from the invasions, men and women who are just doing their civic duty yet murdered for it in Dallas; not to mention my friend who lost her third child to the same unknown causes as she lost her first child to, and other friends of mine who can’t conceive their own children, and others who watch their child suffer from cancer. There are atrocities everywhere.
What good could possibly come of all these sorrows? I personally believe that much good can come from it. As we see when we look back in history, “out of adversity comes opportunity” (Benjamin Franklin). Adversity brings about both chaos and strength, because we are forced to question “What do I believe? Why do I believe it?”
The Millenial generation is often knocked for lacking motivation, poor values, self-focused interests, and disregarding community. Maybe those labels are extreme in some cases and not in others, but regardless of the current adulting generation, we can all see the moral compass is spinning wildly in the 21st century, socialism is on the rise, historical knowledge is less than encouraged, and political heat is all the rage.
So, what do we believe and why do we believe it? How is that going to change the way we live and impact the world? As Chandler says in the message above, those of us who trust Christ MUST have courage to live where we are, to let the Truth permeate our hearts and minds, to continue with the journey knowing that the full delight of peace and restoration is just around the corner…
If you are suffering, if you are struggling with today’s heartache, look around you: “What can I do to help? What do I believe about God, the world, and myself? What’s the story of this world and how it got here and who I am in it?”, and then look up: “Who are you, God? Who am I to you?” Allow the pain you experience to be the catalyst for change and strength; allow the pain of the world to be the opportunity for God to show you that He is in control of His whole universe…
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. -Romans 11:33-36