Friday, September 21, 2018

How Can We Get Out of this Mess?

OK. I am inviting you to think through something with me today.
Though my thoughts on it are plenty, I am not going to get political and begin a debate on the ups and downs of our current situation in the United States and the wider world. But my Bible study of Lamentations 4 has me pondering our present condition, and the Holy Spirit won't seem to let it rest - so I want to work through some questions here.
Because God often helps me see things more clearly when I write.
And maybe He has something for you, too.

My Precepts homework contained this question as I finished my study of Lamentations 4:

Now, what about you or your nation? Have you experienced the tragedy of sin? According to what you have learned today, how could such tragedy be avoided?
I mean, it didn't take long to answer those first questions. As I look around at the world in which I live I see evidence of the tragedy of sin everywhere.
Deception and lies.
Shootings and murders.
Oppression and slavery and despair and abuse and neglect.
Every day, with every news report, there's something more.
The thing is, I know this is not the world God intended. The life we're living is not what HE desires. And I find myself sympathetic to the writer of Lamentations as he bemoans the condition of his city - as he looks at what it has become, and mourns for what used to be.

Then there's that last question: How could such tragedy be avoided?
And the answer is not difficult to figure out. Because we see it over and over again in Jeremiah - before the destruction came of which the writer of Lamentations laments. God kept sending a message to the people: Repent or disaster is coming.
HE kept warning, and the people kept ignoring Him.
Then, behold, they were destroyed. But it wouldn't have happened if they had humbled themselves before the LORD and followed Him. It could have been avoided!
But that was Judah, thousands of years ago, right?
What has it to do with the world today???
Well, plenty - in my opinion.
I wrote in response to the Precepts question, We could avoid the tragedy if we would just humble ourselves and turn to God. Oh! That our hearts may become humble before Him!
Ah, but there is the part of me (the cynical part) which thinks, That'll never happen. I consider the path on which the United States is going, and I find no hope in the possibility of millions of people humbling their hearts and surrendering to God. (Much less the many who are in positions of power and seem to be leading the way in the mess.)
But then I wonder about Israel and Judah, and what things were like during the days of Jeremiah. I read of God's vow to devistate the land if the people did not listen and repent, and His promise to restore and give them new hearts. Hearts which would fear Him so they would never turn away again. And I think, If HE did it for them, maybe we are not a hopeless cause. Maybe the LORD will allow us to fall so far that we will have nothing left to do but humble ourselves and turn to Him.
Honestly, my heart breaks for the condition of our world - how we as a nation are behaving, how we are treating each other and ignoring God. And I think our trouble is about so much more than political parties and philosophical leanings. More than who's Right and who's Left.
As a woman who is passionate about God and about living for Him, I think the problem facing the United States today (And, yes, the rest of the world, too!) is our hard hearts and prideful attitudes. Our disdain for the ways of God, and our desire to do what feels right to us.
It may be too late for us to avoid the tragedy of sin, but perhaps we can be restored.
If we, as a people, humble ourselves and submit to God and His Word.
And so, I pray. Will you join me?



Anonymous said...

Karen, What you wrote touched my heart. When I take my focus off of Him, I begin to worry about what is happening in this country and world. I fear the blindness of those who see evil all around but choose to ignore it. The key is that I have lost focus, not Jesus. I am reminded to pray and hold on to the hope I have in His mercy and grace. Thank you for helping me get back on track! Rosemary (Gleason)

Karen Hossink said...

Rosemary - So good to "see" you here! :)
I am thankful God used my words to speak to your heart.
Yes - we need to keep our focus on HIM. Amen!
Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts.