This morning I awoke at 2am with anxiety and my heart racing. For some reason bioethics was on my mind. The moment was brief as I knew I couldn’t solve issues like DNA misuse and transhumanism in the middle of the night, so I managed to sleep again. As I was getting my wife’s lunch ready many hours later, I suddenly remembered that I had woken up in a light panic. Somehow in that odd slumber there was the weight of the world. There was also Jesus.
Let’s be clear here. The world is crazy! And it always will be. Only something truly divine and miraculous can “save the world” and it’s pretty clear after all these thousands of years, that we humans aren’t going to be the ones to do it. One fundamental issue comes up for a society and eventually gives way to another issue. Troubles find new troubles and when those are solved, old troubles rear up again. That’s just the deal and there’s no escape.
As children we’re told “life isn’t fair.” As adults we still have trouble wrapping our heads around this. “Why can’t life be easier?” we cry. The suffering that comes from the enormous evil that lurks in this world is overwhelming. We want to see our loved ones thrive and little children have hope. Why would anyone want to be a “Debbie Downer” and talk about us humans as fallen? Why would we address the hold Satan has on this world as the prince of the power of the air and father of lies? It’s all too depressing right?
Faith in the God of the Bible, in Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit is what makes the suffering become joy. To know this place is not the end, and more importantly, that it’s not up to us to make the world right, is a relief. People of faith in Christ give this world back to God over and over again. We do what’s right and what we can and then we remember our Father will do the rest.
There’s a line from a Christian rap song that I love. “You don’t know what He did for me.” That sentence sums up how I feel about His intervention in my life. When my non-believing friends don’t understand my faith or when someone tells me I can’t be married to whom I’m married and still call myself a Believer, I just say “you don’t know what He did for me”. It is Christ I believe in and it is He alone who will decide my fate in the afterlife. That understanding is enough for me to be content at this time.
Before I gave my heart to Jesus, which I know for some sounds cheesy, I tried to decide what the world needs and who needs to give what and to whom. It was exhausting to be so foolish thinking I was somehow in charge of righting wrongs. My prayers were selfish and my hope was false. I wanted peace and I wanted it in my lifetime. I didn’t know the Bible well enough to understand false peace was ubiquitous and I was playing its game. I was judge and jury of the hearts of men, and knew who was guilty or innocent. My heart was a stony ground of contempt for my fellow man as I shouted at others to love more.
Social justice activism was my way of fixing what was wrong. With the exception of a few campaigns I was a part of or spokeswoman for, much of what I was involved in was about shaming others, though I certainly didn’t see it that way then. I thought getting racists to admit their racism, sexists to admit their chauvinism, and those who disagreed with homosexuality to admit they were bigots would make life better for people of color, women, and gays. Little did I know I had decided these people were wrong. It doesn’t mean they were.
If I can’t even properly diagnose the wrongness of people, how can anyone? Only God can make wrongs right. Only our Lord can bring justice. Truth and love are His and I am only His child. I have given the world back to God, as Reba McEntire says, and I’ve never known such rest. There is much suffering in this world and there is much grace. As Christians we live with both, understanding there will never be a worldly utopia brought about by human hands, no matter how well meaning we are.
I am thankful that God chose to love us by giving His only Son. He took on the weight of the world and its sins. He gives us eyes to see and ears to hear with His Word. He never forgets us. His love lifts us out of sin and into new hearts that seek to serve others rather than punish them. He gives us laws to abide by while knowing it is His works, not ours that saves. As Al Green once sang “He will fix it.”
As I walked 4 Chihuahuas and one sassy Yorkshire Terrier this morning Lauren Daigle’s O’ Lord played through my headphones. It reminded me, during this special time of remembrance of Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection, that there will hard times. Yet He gives us hearts to know Him. “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:17). In knowing Him He gives of strength to endure and rest in Him. What a savior!
You can listen to O’ Lord here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxr5pckM8i4. Here’s the lyrics.
Though times it seems
Like I’m coming undone
This walk can often feel lonely
No matter what until this race is won
I will stand my ground where hope can be found.
Your strength is found
At the end of my road
Your grace it reaches to the hurting
Still through the tears and the questioning why
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.