Living in a Broken World

October 17, 2018

There’s a song from a musical way back that declares, “Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I got a beautiful feeling that everything’s going my way!” Days like that feel incredible, don’t they? Marriage is working good, the kids are doing well, the bills are mostly paid, and life seems blessed. You can feel God’s love like warm sunshine on your face. It’s easy to believe, easy to worship.

But maybe it has been awhile since you had a day like that. Maybe you are on a tough run. Nothing is going right, and there’s nothing about it that makes sense. You’ve been as honest with yourself as you know how to be, and you know you didn’t do anything to bring all these troubles on yourself. What’s going on? Where is God? Does He know? Does He care? Does He have the power to make it right?

It’s hard to see the hand of an involved, loving God when we listen to the news, read the news, engage social media outlets. It looks like He’s sleeping or on vacation. Maybe He’s angry. Or maybe, sometimes the easiest thought, maybe He’s not really there.

But it’s not just the news outside of me. It’s here. When we have fasted and prayed, the best lady we know still gets the report that she has inoperable terminal cancer. When we tithers just bought a house and sent the first kid to college and our job is terminated. When people we love and thought we would spend our lives with and minister with leave for one reason or another. When the things we have prayed for and about are no where on the horizon. What then? What’s going on?

I don’t know. I’m not that smart. I don’t know why things happen as they do sometimes, despite our best efforts, sincerest prayers, and earnest anticipation. I do know some absolute truths that help me, though.

1) It rains and shines on everybody. You may feel like you’re being picked on, but so does everyone else from time to time. Jesus Himself said that it rains on the just and the unjust. Having trouble is not a sign that God has disowned me or disapproves of me. Jesus Himself said we would have trouble and tribulation in this world. Talk about truth in advertising!

2) Things are not always as they seem. I see a little tiny piece of the big picture. I don’t know other peoples’ lives. I don’t know what is real and what is my imagination. I only know how it looks to me today. I love the old saying, “Don’t doubt in the dark what you knew in the light.” A little time and light may make the situation seem much different than I thought. I will be able to see God is working a plan after all.

3) The world we live in is broken. This is not as God planned. Sin changed everything. But one day God will return it to its original plan. We can live in that expectation.

4) God can be trusted. From the beginning of time, He has kept His word. He has promised us that in all things He is working for our good, IF we love Him and are cooperating with His plans. I don’t need to fear that my current circumstances will crush me or cause me to lose God. Romans 8 promises me I can be under extreme pressure but not be crushed, and that God will never forsake me. No circumstance can separate me from His love.

Living in a broken world is challenging, because sometimes we feel like we have more questions than answers. I am trying to follow the example of victorious Christ-followers over the centuries. I am going to trust and obey. I don’t have the answers, but I know The Answer. “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.” There’s a promised land ahead.