Sunday, August 13, 2017

In Your Name

When I wrote yesterday's post, I had no idea what the days events were. Anyone who knows me knows I don't watch the news, read the paper, or give a lot of attention to what the media is reporting. Why? Because it horrifies me. We live in a time and place in history where we can see, live, the deplorable things people do to each other for reasons I can't wrap my mind around.

So how do we handle Paul's words when we have people using the name of God and the word of God to do unspeakable acts of violence? Honestly, I don't know. This has got to be one of the greatest struggles I have. Because I want to see people, all people, as children of God. But when they don't act like it, when they say things that would never make our Father in heaven happy, when they use His name to justify hatred, bigotry, and violence, I don't know how to do it. I really, honestly, don't.

All I do know is that I have to trust God. I have to believe that someone out there will take the wretched things that are being said and search the Word of God for themselves, find what He really says on the pages of Sciprture, and trust Him, not those that defile His Words. Does that make me naive? Maybe. Does that mean I'm too optimistic? Possibly. Does that sound like something God could do out of something ugly? Absolutely.

I have personally never known the type of hatred that exists in our world. All I know is that it breaks the heart of God to see His children, all of them, fighting. God does not see color when He looks at His children. He sees His creation, made exactly the way He designed it: magnificent, intentional,  beautiful, and purposeful. But in this world, whether by choice or circumstances, it has been marred. What He knit together and declared very good now does very bad things to others He also declared very good. And I don't understand it. I will never understand it.

I don't have solutions or suggestions or magic tricks that can make hatred go away. I have God. And above all else, I trust Him. I have known Him to do miraculous things in the midst of tragedy. And I know that as in all things, somehow, His name can be glorified in spite of the division Satan continues to spread. And as His hands and feet, it is our job to stand in the gap and love others well. Even when it's hard. Even when our hearts are breaking. Even when we don't have words. May our actions reflect the love of God and Jesus more than anything else.

Father, I don't understand hatred. I don't get why anyone uses Your name, a name that is wrapped and bound in indescribable love, to justify what You clearly stand against. Lord, I don't know the answer, but I pray that You will take the light that You have graciously put in each of us and make it shine brighter than ever as Your sons and daughters. Show us practical ways to be Your hands and feet in loving others well, united against division. Help us Lord, because when things like this happen, we just don't know what to do. We ask all these things in the precious, healing, and powerful name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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