In the wake of what has happened in the past few weeks, I have felt bouts of anger, sadness, confusion, and disbelief. How can God allow such tragedy, such evil to invade the hearts of humanity? How could the Creator stand to see his creation killing one another because of the color of their skin? It turns my stomach, it makes me want to close my eyes and never open them.
In these times, I literally beg God to just come back... bring the new kingdom. Just do it. I'm ready. We're ready. I want nothing more than to just go home now. Just stop the pain. Stop the death.
In the midst of this pain I have been reminded how humanity has never changed. Indeed, Satan's methods of destruction have never changed. This evil has always dwelt in the hearts of men and women since the first act of disobedience. We have to be taught how to love -- as Christians, we are taught to love by our Lord Jesus Christ. And how did he teach us? By loving us first. By revealing to us his unbelievable sacrifice.
When I was in Israel last month, I visited a lot of amazing places. Places where my Savior walked, ate, slept, taught, worshiped. It was incredible. But there was something lack-luster about many of the places... I felt an emptiness, a yearning. I couldn't help but stand in those places and think "He's. Not. Here." In the Garden of Gethsemane, among the fragrant olive trees, I read through Psalms 22-27. And the very last verse of Psalm 27, the one that made me weep with awe and thanksgiving, says this: "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
This moment where we are is the place we have been destined for as we live out our lives on earth. It is not only the land of living, breathing, thinking, feeling people -- humans -- men and women, it is also the land of the Living God, of a Savior who died and was made alive and then went up to heaven to prepare a place for all those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord. Jesus reminds us again and again to come back to him, to remember his sacrifice, to be reminded of his faithfulness and our covenant in his blood. That what our new song "Revive My Heart" is all about this week.
BUT WAITING IS HARD. Indeed, waiting for shalom (God's perfect peace, the new kingdom in heaven and earth) is EVEN HARDER. But King David gives us this challenge: see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of this planet of humanity; be strong in the waves of evil and trial; take heart and love each other.
This is going to be hard. Life has been hard, it will continue to be hard. But forever will come in an instant, and we must be ready.
Listen and be encouraged.
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