I love Jesus. I proudly accept the invitation to be a daughter of the King. But can I confess something? I cringe a bit every time I hear someone say “God’s in charge.”
Lately the world, and my little world, has been all too heavy. That’s the only word that I can use to justly describe the stress, pain and sadness playing out around me. Heavy. Like those thick plastic blankets they put over you before you get an X-ray. It’s harder to get up and at ’em when your soul is being weighed down.
Too many friends around me are dealing with the big stuff – the devastating diagnosis, financial struggles, unjust accusations and legal battles, heart wrenching grief, divorce. I take this pain on because I hurt for my people.
Then there was our election. Wasn’t it exhausting? I know so many lost hope. Feel like their passions are being squashed. We shook our heads in disappointment at the vile words and disrespect we saw all around, and we covered our children’s ears. And now that the election is over, we’re seeing lots of hate and violence. The world seems unsettled right now. Souls are weary.
I don’t like the statement that “God is in charge” because I think it sounds dismissive. Like we don’t have to be upset anymore because there is a greater plan. We can be off the hook for doing the work we are called to do. That passion is wasted. That we can throw our hands up because “God’s got this”.
Yes, he does. But what are we still called to do? Who are we called to be?
I agree whole heartedly that God wears the crown of our universe, and his plan will play out for the ultimate good. But we were never promised a pain-free world on earth. So while God reigns, we still have navigate this difficult path. And it’s not always going to feel good.
I see friends who believe in God but they still have to walk through loss, pain, the unknown. It will grow them, it will strengthen relationships. It will bring out something new.
You know what I see lately between all the heartache? I see Jesus.
I vividly remember a pastor saying, “You want to know what God looks like? God looks like people loving each other.” God doesn’t look like hate, disrespect or judgement. The God I know doesn’t stand behind violence, racism or unkindness. Please know that anyone representing Jesus in these ways is not honoring Him.
When Jesus walked the earth, he sought out the broken. The worst “sinners” of the time – the prostitutes, the liars and the cheats. The sick and rejected. And he rescued. He always rescued first.
What if we listened more, loved more and just showed up? In the mist of so many hurting around me you know what I see? I see people saying “I love you” to each other more than they ever have. I see them showing up and helping out and crying with their hurting loved ones. I see people praying earnestly and constantly for broken hearts. I see people reaching out to refugees. I see hurts being mended and repaired.
I see more listening. I hear more compassion. People dropping things to come to the aid of others. I see people being vulnerable and open. I watch people find peaceful discussion around politics.
When the world feels unsettled, we can honor the verse, “be still, and know that am I God”. We can pray earnestly for comfort, for direction and for compassion. We can ask God to show us his will for us, for our place in the world. We can ask for direction on when to listen and when to speak up. We can listen to our inner voice spewing out our passions and act on them. We can love others by simply showing up.
Have heart my friends who feel the heaviness of the world right now. For we are in this together, and we don’t have to fear. God IS in charge, and he has a place for every one of us in this world. We are warriors for his kingdom. And if we can zoom in on the big picture, we’ll see a lot of good too.