To say this week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. Chaos seems to be the order of the day lately, both around the world and in my own life.
I generally refrain from making political statements in the social media realm, and this will be no different. Attempting to reduce complex issues to zero-sum statements does a disservice to everyone in the discussion.
But I see so much pain. Pain in the eyes of survivors of terrorist attacks, pain in the tears of people displaced from the homes that they love, pain in the eyes of those who wish to protect their loved ones, pain in the shivering cold of the homeless (many of whom have served within the armed forces of our nation), pain in the prayers of people trying to figure out where God is in their life and why they can’t see Him.
And all of these things hurt my heart: because there seems to be so little that I can do, because fear has replaced compassion, and because in so many avenues, I see the humanity of mankind failing.
Yet, somehow, in the midst of all this, I have hope. My hope is not in any government or law or even in my own righteousness (which really isn’t worth much at all anyway), so where does it reside?
What if I put myself aside? What if I am honest about my problems in my prayers, and believing that God, by His very nature, has to keep His promises. I won’t pretend that that’s always easy; in fact faith plays a huge role in being able to do so. But the promises of God say that He will provide for me, and this is where I find hope. And where does hope lead me?
To freedom. Freedom from the worry and stress of the day-to-day. Freedom from the fear that something bad is lurking around the corner. And once I’m free from those burdens, the freedom to reach out to others in compassion, mercy, confidence, and love. To stop being afraid about my own life, and care for others. For orphans, widows, our young adults at church, veterans, refugees, my neighbors, my pastors, strangers, my friends, my enemies, and so many others that can be named; I am free to love them as I believe God loves me.
My hope is not in any power, ruler, or authority of this world. I don’t expect everyone to understand that. But my hope gives me courage.
I am not afraid; and that, my friends, is true freedom.