In a heartbeat

HAVE YOU ever felt like you’ve lost control of your life? Or maybe you’ve been bombarded by bad news. You know what I mean. Things don’t turn out the way you planned. Loss or tragedy hit close to home. Your dreams are transformed into distant memories.

And in the rubble and ruins you wonder, is it worth it? How can I possibly keep going?

I imagine somewhere in my mind how I think life should be. I picture a perfect world. But my vision collides with reality. The world is wild, imperfect, and dangerous. Justice and fairness are inconsistent, even rare sometimes.

And if I summon the courage, I see my own imperfection clearly. So there it is. If I can’t even live up to my ideal of what’s good, what gives me the right to judge how the world works? How does all this make me feel? Angry? Frustrated? Sad?

Then the booming question appears: WHY!? It cries out from the depths of my soul. What did I do to deserve this? I tried my best, didn’t I? Why all the pain and suffering?

Why do the innocent suffer? Is God really good? Who am I to even ask that question? Will I shake my fist at the heavens and lash out? Will I be consumed by bitterness? If yes, then there will be victims, especially those closest to me — especially myself. The resentful soul extracts a heavy price.

So much energy is spent these days looking for someone to blame for our troubles. We want clear explanations and conduct. But when we push too hard, we force our limited understanding upon the world. And that path always ends in tyranny.

The world is unfair. We are vulnerable. Bad things happen. The question is not, will I accept this, but how?

In response to this, there are things we can do. We can be decisive. We can choose. Despite our fragility, we also have great power. We can unleash pain and destruction, or we can forgive. We can seek healing. We can strive for peace.

We can swallow our pride and realize, love is much more important, infinitely more powerful, than being right. We can decide to have faith in God rather than falling into despair. 

Make no mistake, this is a battle. The enemy tempts you to get angry. He wants to drive you into a dark corner. He whispers all kinds of lies to you. But God waits patiently for you. He waits until you are ready.

And when you say, yes Lord, in a heartbeat he is there for you. He casts out the enemy decisively, and God’s mercy comes rushing in.

In the end it’s about trust. Jesus did not teach political maneuvering as a way to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. He did not manipulate or coerce anyone.

Jesus’ authority came from a pure heart, a humble spirit. He found strength in the tender yet all-powerful grace of God. He emptied himself. He took the form of a servant.

Christ is exalted since he gave his life in obedience and humility (Philippians 2:5-11). And the fruits of his service are transformed lives and the salvation of souls.

Think about it. How did the Lord change your life? Through love and tenderness. Through giving and forgiving. If you want to see change, go and do likewise.

If you haven’t experienced this yet, what are you waiting for? He will never, ever turn you away. If you call out to him, in a heartbeat he arrives at your door.

So bring your anguish before him. Speak openly to God about your frustration and pain. Let it all out, and let his wisdom show you the why. It won’t be tidy and simple. You might not even be able to understand it in words.

The Spirit of God will speak directly to your spirit. The answers will involve a cross. And understanding will come alive in a resurrection. 

If we do the right thing purely out of obligation, to show the world we are right, then we impose tyranny upon ourselves and others.

If we do the right thing lovingly, despite the injustice that hurts us, not expecting anything in return, then our souls will sing with heavenly joy. 

So remain true to his love. Hold on. Cling tight. Remain steady and sure.

You can do it. Trust. Believe.

Despite the pain and struggle, even if you don’t like how things are going, seek communion with your Creator.

Let us remain, O loving Lord. 

. . . . . . .

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

John 15:9-11

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