Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 1 Peter 4:12, 13
The world is on fire. So much sadness and evil is evident in what is going on in Iraq, in Gaza, in so many places. I feel like I have gotten complacent in my little world with little problems and forgotten that there is a battle raging. The war is won, but the battles continue. My heart hurts especially for the children. I want to do something, but there isn’t much to be done. So, instead I must allow it to push me back into God’s presence again. I come wanting answers, understanding and hope. Often, I only get hope, but that is enough. We have forgotten that we are in a battle. The evil one wants to drown us in his evil so that we no longer see Jesus. We can also get smothered by our struggle for answers. We analyze things, trying to get a handle on the logic of what is going on—but there is no logic. Pride blinds those who are hurting others so they don’t care about those they hurt. They just want their way. Anytime we let something take priority over Jesus, we leave a wake of people hurting behind us. The Bible is clear that there are principalities and powers at work. This is a fight too big for us on our own. We must come to Jesus over and over, begging not for understanding necessarily, for understanding is an empty goal. We beg for His love to surround those who suffer, for His Life to be all that they need even in this time. We have seen many throughout history who knew His being everything they needed, even through horrendous circumstances. And we rejoice that death for these precious ones, God’s children, does not mean a defeat. They get to recognize the joy set before them and walk with Jesus just as they did in their suffering. Father, thanks for standing with us in the evil times. Thank you that you are the God of comfort to those who mourn and to those who live in fear of what tomorrow may bring. Allow this time to push us back to your presence again and again, not to answer unanswerable questions, bunt to know deep in our spirits that we have a God and you love each of us so tenderly. I beg for those whose voices are diminished by struggle against evil right now. Let them know You in a way they never would have without this craziness. Thank you that nothing is too big for You; no power can defeat You. While our bodies live in the mess of this broken world, our spirits resonate with the hope of a Life who does not just defeat hell in the future, but allows us to have Life in the hell of today. Amen.