In life there are moments that make sense. You press on the brakes in your car and it stops. You go to sleep late and wake up tired the next day. You stub your toe and the nail falls off. You stretch a little too far in yoga and the next day it’s hard to walk. There’s this phrase in the bible, “you reap what you sow” and it’s kind of like the biblical version of “karma.” What you did yesterday greatly affects what happens today, good or bad. That makes sense, right?
What about the moments that don’t make any sense? Shootings, sudden deaths, theft, child abuse. Moments in life that cease your breathing and shake you down to your very core. None of it makes any sense, and how is it supposed to? No one asks to die when they are in the middle of living their full life. No one asks to have everything they own, even their childhood, to be taken from them. Why does it happen anyways? I guess the “right” answer to this question would be to blame it on the sin and brokenness of our world, and while that is completely valid, it’s not comforting. It doesn’t take the weight off of my chest and it doesn’t clear my thoughts. It helps to put a face to a name, but that doesn’t change the fact that it sucks. Perhaps it makes it worse because once again, it seems as though sin has won. It seems as though lies and deceit have won–but they haven’t.
In the bible when Jesus is about to be persecuted, he deals with a great amount of fear. Talk about a moment that doesn’t make sense. Jesus dying on the cross. I mean of course it makes sense biblically, it validates Old Testament prophecies and the ultimate will of God, but hold on just one second. Jesus was perfect. Jesus was unflawed, yet he died the death of a criminal. From an earthly standpoint, that makes absolutely no sense. In our justice system today, if an accused person is proven not guilty, they get to go home. Jesus was not guilty of anything, he was blameless; it make no earthly sense that he would have to die. Jesus cried out to his Father, “if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) He knew that he was blameless, but he knew that he would have to die anyway. He knew that bad things are going to happen and we little humans don’t have much of a say in it at all.
In response to tragedy and heartbreak, may we call out to our Father in times of desperate need saying, “if you are willing, take this cup from me,” and let him hold our burdens. Let him hold our cup. Let his promises be the rock on which we stand. It is so important that we humble ourselves this way because our hands are just too small. Our hands cannot handle the weight of our own sin, let alone the rest of the world’s. Unfortunate events happen; this world is so predictable until it just isn’t anymore. The harmony in the midst of chaos is The Lord’s firm and steady hand, taking our cup, scooping us up and embracing us in His love. That is what I’m betting on. I’m betting that his goodness and comfort will sooth any wound.
I am an imperfect and inadequate vessel to be delivering this message to whomever will read this, because maybe I’m writing this to convince myself of my own words. Maybe I’m writing this to remind myself of these truths that are so hard to see, let alone understand and soak in, in the midst of a storm. Nonetheless, I pray that these words would be a fountain from which life can grow. I pray that we are encouraged by His truths and his protection each and every day.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)