Darkness can only be scattered by light. Hatred can only be scattered by love. –Pope John Paul II
So much darkness has wrecked havoc in our world. My community in Indianapolis lost Amanda Blackburn, who was killed in her home along with her unborn baby leaving behind her husband and son. Paris experienced an act of terror in recent days. And, when tragedy strikes, it seems to open our eyes to all the additional chaos and hate that fills the world. Wars and injustices in Africa, the worldwide orphan crisis, terminal sickness, and the list goes on.
It’s. just. too. much.
I wrote a post recently about the first step in my discovery of hope. You can read the post here.
But this week, I have been reminded that this world is not our home.
If you are a Christian, you can agree that we know this. We have been taught this from day one. But can I be honest? My whole focus as a Christian growing up was more along the lines of right and wrong. It wasn’t so much what other people were doing, but it was more about whether I was doing the right thing. I didn’t think much about heaven beyond the fact that I really hoped when I arrived I was able to live in a castle similar to the one in Disney World and have a pool of chocolate pudding in my backyard. The Gospel hadn’t made its way into my heart.
Thankfully, God has rocked me and reminded me in multiple ways this week that Jesus came to die so we could have life! Not so that we could walk this earth as the “sin police,” because, you know, God needs us to defend Him and everything *sarcasm.* But, instead, we are here in a missional way to tell the good news of God’s promise that we don’t have to spend every day in pain and suffering living with worry and anxiety. Heaven wasn’t created to be a real-life version of Candy Land but was created for us to spend forever the way God had intended life to be.
God is not focused on our lives here on earth in the same way we are. As Trader’s Point’s recent sermon reminded me this morning: God grieves with us, He counts and holds our tears, but he doesn’t isolate us from painful circumstances.
Sometimes through the most painful circumstances, we are given the opportunity to shine light among the darkness. We can be the vessel needed to direct others to God’s promise of eternal life.
We know that in eternity there is no pain, suffering, darkness or hate. God isn’t focused on ridding the world of these things the way we are. Besides, His original plan didn’t even include darkness. Read the creation story and you can agree these things are a result of satan, human choice, and free-will, rather than an angry, vengeful God. His focus is on loving others, shining His light, and offering hope.
The world has rejected God from the beginning. The world has always faced suffering. But God is still on the throne. Just as the early church faced desperate and painful times, we must walk like the early Christians did with the following belief:
Mighty Savior, lifted high
King forever, Jesus Christ
Crowned in glory, raised to life
The same power lives in us
During the darkest of times, my hope is built on God’s promise of what’s to come. Until then, I pray we can use the power of light that lives in us and share the good news with the world.
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