The news has been ridiculously bad lately, has it not?
Nigerian girls kidnapped at the beginning of summer.
Immigration border issues escalating.
Ebola outbreak in Africa with hundreds dying.
Israel and Gaza unrest, images of broken, bloodied children from there, people using schools as weapon repositories?
Beloved actor Robin Williams allegedly committing suicide.
Ferguson, MO rocked with death, rioting, and militarized police.
Then adding local news which always involves car accidents, crime, and health issues.
Then adding busy schedules, stress, relationships struggles that we all have.
It’s hard even to write sometimes because everything is a fresh, open, gaping wound on the soul.
My gut reaction is to retreat, to hide from the news, to at least work to heal myself.
But I need to remember, that there are so many out there that do not have the hope that I do.
And let’s face it, we need hope. As small as the death of Robin Williams should be in the face of all of the rest of that tragedy, it’s that that’s blowing up my news feed. And it tells me something. It tells me that we’re desperately looking for something, for someone. This man who made so many laugh and smile, if he couldn’t face the world and it’s problems? This man who was a GREAT, if he needed to escape? The question remaining seems to be “how can I?” This question breaks my heart because all of this news, it breaks your heart. The girls, their families have to be aching with their loss. The people of western Africa are mourning and even more are afraid that they could be next to succumb. The families of Israel and Palestine must always be mourning as death mounts upon death. The nation mourned Williams. And Ferguson rocks us all as we try to sort through some very murky mess of crime and death and racism and authority and power and peace.
But who has the hope? Is it hope to say that those who have died are free from the pain of this world? I’m afraid that’s poor comfort to those of us still here. We are scarred and left bleeding by those who leave life whether it’s by force or by choice. Our hope is and must be in Jesus. All of this sin and death and pain and wrongness is no surprise to the living God. He knew it would come way back when a man and a woman in a perfect garden did not think that God was enough. So, God worked through history a plan to bring us back to Him. He sent His Son to live a perfect life and die as a payment for all the sin and death and pain and wrongness in the world. Then, he appointed those who would believe and accept that God was enough to carry the truth to a world that keeps searching for what will satisfy and comfort and save. And the answer is easy and it’s hard and it fights against will and feelings and prevailing opinion. But the answer is Jesus. He is enough. Even though all this world fall away with all the people and the stuff that I love, Jesus would still be enough.
Help me tell the rest of everybody, OK? Because from what I’ve seen, not near enough of us know it. And remind me of it, too, when I struggle because this world is hard and we can help each other remember.