“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” –Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
Oh no. Not again. I’m on the way to a band competition to watch my daughter, and my son has just texted me that there has been a terrorist attack in Paris. What? I ask my teenage son to make sure that my 6-year-old is not watching. We live in a world of hate and despair. Although my teenager is well aware that true diabolical evil exists, I still want to protect my youngest innocent heart as long as I can. And, judging by the way the world is going, that won’t be long.
I find myself fighting back the tears in the truck as we make our way down the interstate. I allow myself to imagine the night in Paris. That could’ve been any of us there. While innocent people were having dinner and enjoying a night of music and football with friends and family, they were murdered. They were plotted against…hunted. Months before it actually took place, these people, these PEOPLE were breathing, loving, fearful and wonderful. They were living their lives with the hopes that everyone has. I’m sure some hoped to fall in love. To feel the nervousness when you see that someone walk into the room, and to have the guts to go over and talk to them. I bet others yearned for families. To fill their empty arms with children and feel the heartbeat of a newborn who has their daddy’s eyes. I’m sure some of these people had laughs that could light up a room, or a tenderness about them that could heal even the hardest heart. I bet they could’ve been our friends. They were the friends of others. The world will never get to know what will become of them. They are but shadows of those who walked this place.
It’s getting harder and harder to watch the news without being cynical. I struggle with the balancing act of being angry at the way things are going, and riding the wave of God’s sovereignty. I battle feeling hatred for those who commit these acts. It makes me think thoughts that I never thought I would…..or for that matter thought I could think such bad things. What if that were my husband? My children? How would I cope? Could I go on in this world with the hope that God is in control, because from the looks of it down here, it’s like sheer chaos. Is our government trustworthy? The strongest and best country on the planet founded on Biblical principals turns it back on the Almighty. It’s all topsy-turvy. Right is viewed wrong and wrong is glorified? Whaaa??? Churches are divided on what the Bible truly says. They add and subtract what they want and call it outdated. (Just a side note to that: God maintained the integrity of His word for 2000 years. I think He knows what’s best). I want to scream at the top of my lungs to God and remind Him that although some of our leaders take us down roads that don’t glorify Him, that not all of us feel that way. Protect us from their mistakes, I pray. I feel like I’m in superglue….I’m feeling stuck. It makes me anxious all over.
Then, on the other hand, I am reminded of God’s promises. How He’s got it all together, and He has an order to things. I know the Heavenly Father could make it end right now. He would just have to utter it from His lips, and things would be, as they should. But, He doesn’t. He’s not ready yet. There is still more work to be done. He looks down at this hot mess we have made, and He loves every one of His children. Every single one. It’s so hard for me to fathom. In this ever-changing world that we live in our days have been mapped out. He knows what’s going to happen, and He has placed us in these times for a reason. Our children have been born exactly when they were supposed to be, and so were we. If we truly believe in the providence of the Lord, that we have to be willing to be called to do what we need to do at this very time and place. It’s been embedded in our DNA.
Looking back through history, we are not the only generation that has faced terrible times. We are not newbies to sin. Go all the way back to Herod who was killing thousands of babies, or the Mayan Indians with all of their pagan sacrifices. Then, more recently you have Hitler and the Holocaust where millions died. Millions. And now you have the persecution of Christians, and on air beheadings for the world to see. It’s barbaric. Evil is not a new concept. Others have gone before us. They have witnessed such atrocities.
I don’t know about you, but I have to depend on my faith. There is no other option for me. Satan wants to drown out our joy, but my joy comes flowing out of the Father and can’t be stolen, quieted, shut down or even killed. I feel the need to forgive. Forgive those who hurt my fellow brothers and sisters of the human race. Forgive them for trying to extinguish my faith and love. Forgive them for so many things as I am forgiven for so many things, too.
I also feel the need to pray. Pray for protection. Pray for our leadership. Pray for the right words and actions that point people to Jesus during a time that feels like there is no moral compass.
Now is not the time to pretend that we can’t do anything. We are not called to sit and wring our hands while the world falls apart around us. We are not powerless. We are children of the King. Now is the time to shout the redeeming love of Jesus Christ from the mountaintops, skyscrapers, AND rooftops! People are starving for hope, and thirsty for genuine authentic faith. They are craving the Savior. I refuse to walk around in a bitter state where I am frozen by fear. I will trudge through this mess with the rest of us and keep my eyes focused on Him. We have to remember He wins. His Love wins.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13