On the heels of one of the most horrific earthquakes of all time this weekend in Nepal, riots stirred our own nation this week. Bringing chaos, slinging anger, stirring up trouble and rumbling division.
So much in our world seems broken today.
Loss, death, violence, destruction, lies, hurt, despair, tension, turmoil. Do you wish you could just turn it off? Hide from all the noise and heartache? Pretend it's really not there? We can tune out but it won't go away.
Because it's real.
This is our world. Flawed. Imperfect. Hurting.
The earthquake tragically killed thousands and wounded many others. Arguments over gay marriage have divided our country and the courts. ISIS and terrorist groups continue to pervade, persecute, and violently kill countless innocent lives. And in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s tragic death while under police supervision, violence seemed to seethe, just waiting for the right time to be released.
Monday morning, it began. First on social media with the one word referencing a movie where all crime was made legal – “purge.” In the heat of tensions already high on that particular day of Mr. Gray’s funeral, many took to the streets, armed, ready, and with one incident leading to another, chaos ensued.
Brokenness. Violence. Crime.
I’m sure the enemy cheered. It’s all the things he loves.
The whispers of the deceiver beckon on the world to be driven by hate and fear. He enjoys nothing more than when we fight. He swarms in riots, dead set on his main mission to steal, kill, and destroy. He thrives in the darkness and seeks to rule the night with more destruction and despair.
And yet, God is still there. His presence can never be driven out by unruly means and factions that divide. He once walked among those very crowds. He knows the pain. He understands the injustice. He has heard the mob’s cry and sees the fearful heart beneath their harsh, angry words.
Sometimes we forget. For when things feel broken, they feel almost beyond repair. It's hard to think about a better tomorrow when we're fighting so hard for what we believe in today, yet always feeling a bit overstretched and overwhelmed. Like there's just not a lot we can do to make things any better. Because so much is out of our control.
Yet He reminds us in this place where the burden feels so heavy…these things…
3 Powerful Reminders from God’s Word for Chaotic Times:
1. He has not lost control. Not ever. He’s still on throne. We do not have to fear that God is up there in heaven nervously pacing the floors, wringing his hands, and wondering how He’s going to get us out of this mess. He is Sovereign. He knows all. From the beginning of time to who wins in the end. And He has a plan.
"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Col. 1:17
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Ps. 46:10
2. Our times are in His hands. We can trust our lives to Him. We do not have to carry the burden on our own of all the pressure of the “what if’s.” That’s a heavy load to haul over time. It wears us down, leaves us feeling stressed and tense. Like it’s somehow all up to us to keep life going and flowing in a certain direction. Yet God can do so much more with our time and energy when we give it first over to Him. He can multiply our efforts, sovereignly order our steps, and bring great purpose through our days.
“My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” Ps. 31:15
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” Eph. 3:20
3. He is the One who can heal our brokenness. It’s what He does best. It’s what He came to do. To give new life to a broken world. He heals our wounds and repairs our broken places. We don’t have to hide the scars away out of shame or hurt. He fits the jagged edges and shattered pieces of our lives back together to make a beautiful design. One that’s new. He equips us for a life of great purpose. He strengthens us for a life of courage and compassion able to withstand the fiercest opposition with boldness, mercy, and grace.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ps. 147:3
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5
Jesus was willing to take on his very shoulders the mess and brokenness of our world in exchange for our freedom. Let's not waste that gift. Ever. We only have one shot at this life. Let's keep striving for the things that Jesus was all about. Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, freedom, life.
No matter how dark things may seem today, He still makes all things new. He will never allow the pain of what we've walked through be wasted. He will somehow use it for good, for purpose, both in our lives, and in the world around us.
It is a good morning in Baltimore. For God is there. He brings light. And He has good in store.
(Photo credit via Wikipedia)
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
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