“Persuasion confirms confident expectation and proves the unseen world to be more real than the seen. Faith celebrates as certain what hope visualizes as future.” – Hebrews 11:1 (The Mirror Bible translation)
Can I just take a minute to appreciate the beauty of that verse? Faith celebrates as certain what hope visualizes as future. MIND BLOWN.
There doesn’t seem to be a glut of things to celebrate right now.
I was turbo-thumb scrolling through Facebook chuckling at goofy cats wearing hats and babies teaching each other to walk, and then.. a trickle of posts from news agencies. Lives of yet more law enforcement officers were taken in Baton Rouge, and oh my dear Lord, what is happening to us?
Oh no. Please God, no.
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t even tuned in for live coverage yet. Much like the grounds of my beloved hometown of Houston, my ground is saturated. My spirit is just saturated. I can’t take one more sad thing. Storm after storm have filled the ground and there’s nowhere for the runoff to go. I know we are all hurting. We are all just trying to doggy paddle in the flood of awfulness right now.
The past few weeks have been an abysmally horrible example of what people of a godless world can inflict upon each other. Does blood mean NOTHING to us anymore?
In between tragedies and murders, there have been tides of goodwill and love between fellow men. Each tragedy followed by an outpouring of people helping one another, followed by another blow, followed by good people acting, followed by more blood in the street….Each time Grace gets on her feet, she is assaulted with another hard swing. But like a boxing match between Hatred and Grace, Grace is getting its ass kicked.
Or so it seems.
But still …
I keep thinking of the end of Jesus’s last day on earth, and how terrified the disciples must have been when the sky turned black and their One True Hope died just like a regular guy. Can you imagine? Talk about feeling like God has left the building! There was even an earthquake as His Spirit ascended, but from the human viewpoint, it just looked like the world was ending.
It just looked like doom.
That’s what it feels like to me now.
Blood means everything, and is the only way anything matters. The darkening sky had to happen; It had to happen for love to swing harder. Blood and disaster ushered in hope for the whole of mankind.
I guess faith isn’t about not questioning, because any sane person is doubting and questioning right now. I know I am – big time. Just being honest.
In spite of everything, I believe we are on this planet right now because God deemed us fit to thrive in it for His sake. Not just survive – but thrive.
Even when I just want to make a blanket fort and consume multiple cartons of Haagen Dazs and wash it down with boxed chardonnay while I snuggle with my cats and listen to sad Coldplay songs so I can properly grieve the state of the Union (and the state of the world.)
Again, just being honest.
I’ve been sober a long time, but I have to tell you, I am asking God for help every single day. I need him to help me stay sober and sane.
How can love swing harder if we all stay drunk in our blanket forts? Faith celebrates as certain what hope visualizes as future.
Here’s my strategy, and it’s kind of weird but wildly helpful to me:
Each time I become despondent and feel anxiety rising, I try to visualize the expressions on the faces of the disciples when they laid their actual EYES on the resurrected Jesus. Awe, wonder, hope sprung eternal. Doom turned to dust, death made impotent for all eternity.
Jesus was all like “TA DAAA!”
And “What part of ‘I’m coming back’ don’t you understand?”
And “I love you! Go now and love on everybody else.”
That’s how I’m coping and staying sober – striving toward the day Hatred doesn’t get the last swing, the day evil gets its ass kicked forevermore. Leaning INTO a loving Father whose heart is breaking for the way His kids are treating one another.
And trying to honor the One True Hope – and be the best ambassador for Him that I can.
When it looks like doom, stand on this saturated ground with me, and keep proclaiming who we KNOW God to be. By grace, love wins. This broken world needs to know it.
God bless us EVERY one.