The past few weeks I have had trouble sitting down and writing anything for this here blog. There's been a party to plan, sick kids to take care of, bills to pay, shopping to be done and laundry to fold... totally first world "problems". But for months now, I've had a lot of things swirling around inside my head and haven't quite known how to write it all down and share it or make sense of it for myself. Then there's the added issues of life that carries on all around me, real life stuff that is messy and challenging and unjust.
There's the woman in India who lines up every night to sell herself so that she can just survive another day. There's the little child who lies alone and crying in a metal orphanage bed who has no one to rock her to sleep because there are too many children and not enough workers to go around. There was the story I heard a couple weeks ago of a large family of siblings who were all found in the woods here in Arkansas with a mom who was on drugs. Then the grandfather in Florida who killed his daughter, four grandkids and finally himself. There was the woman who physically abused a child so badly that he was found with burns all over his poor little body that was left limp and alone.
I've hardly watched the news in the last several months simply because I don't want my kids to hear all the horrible, violent, unthinkable things that happen in this world. But I sat down and watched a few of my DVR-ed newscasts the other night after they were tucked into their beds. I sat stunned on my sofa as the reporter continued to relay all these different stories of horrifying and unbelievable atrocities. And they don't all happen "over there", they happen here, in America, in this great Natural State, on the streets (or in the woods) of Little Rock not all that far away from my home. And I'm left wondering WHY?!!! What is wrong with these people??? I asked Adam, how can people do such things? How does a grandfather go in and kill all his daughters family including the three month old baby? How do you get to that point?
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that we live in a fallen, sinful world that is in desperate need of a Savior. For someone to see and hear of these things and still deny that we are sinful creatures, is pretty much unbelievable to me. It's pretty obvious that I'm sinful when my little one comes into my room whining and crying at 5:30 am interrupting my "easing into the day". And immediately my irritation level pops its head up and I'm quickly (almost immediately) on edge and the day's not even really begun. Then I'm reminded, "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can understand it?" Yes, that's right, that's the gnawing question, who can understand it? "Those people" (the above mentioned) are sinful, and I'm completely and desperately wicked, everyone is; its an epidemic, this need for a Savior.
And the next burning question is, what can we, what can I, do in light of all of this? What should our family do? What has God planned, in eternity past, for our family to accomplish in this time, in this place? What is He calling us to? What is He asking us to sacrifice?
This morning I was reading from Psalm 27 and loved verses 4, 8 and 11. "One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord forever…My heart says of you, seek his face! Your face Lord, I will seek…Teach me your ways Lord; lead me in a straight path." These verses, really seemed to come alive and put words to my thoughts and feelings. Also, in Ephesians 2:10 it says, "For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance." "In advance", so He has a plan, a purpose, a path that He already knows we will (and should) take, I only need to seek Him, seek His face, look to Him and He will light our path. I certainly don't want to miss it. I want my heart and my eyes to be wide open to whatever it might be that He would be asking us to do.
Thankfully, though life is hard, and struggles are all around us, people are suffering and children are aching, we have a God who cares, who is mighty to save, who empowers the weak and offers peace and hope to those who seek after Him. And that is "the gosple"…that is the good news! I'm so thankful for the cross and for Jesus' willingness to get up on it and to stay there. To walk through the horrible, violent and unthinkable things that God had pre-planned for Jesus, so that you and I might have the opportunity to spend the rest of eternity with them, is a miracle, an amazing story. It doesn't get old and it always offers hope!
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