Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hope in the Rubble

Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 11:28pm
It always crosses my mind - when I see tragedy strike, when I hear of the poor kids in Africa, when I see photos of the slums in India, when I live where I am everyday and life, people, society, just doesn't seem right, it always crosses my mind:


Is there hope in this mess? In this tangle of humanity, in such unrest, in war, in sickness, in poverty, in injustice, in unfairness? Is there any reason why people should go on living?

Sure, most of us privileged enough to have access to Facebook are obviously not too deprived, not too sick, not too poor, and you get where I'm getting at. But do we ever stop to think, amidst our wealth, our opportunities, our luxuries, that the majority of the world have none of these things?

We cannot fathom. I cannot. It blows my mind to think, well, we have about 20 million people in Australia. We're all well-off, comfortable, well-fed, well-paid, well-educated. Can you imagine, there are 1 billion people in India, ONE BILLION! And do you know that 80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day? Not to mention other countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East.

Unthinkable! Our one meal out costs $10. Counting the cost of the clothes we have on, the shoes, the phones, the ipod, the bag, the money, the jewelry. We have so much more!

Its easy for us to comfortably believe in God. Its easy for us to go to church every Sunday. Its all so accessible. We have Bibles on our bookshelves, in the bookstores, in our phones. We have education, we have rights, we have privileges. We can actually enjoy life. So things are not too bad for us. What I'm talking about can't even apply to us, because most of us have never experienced any great tragedy or great loss.

And yet, people in such underdeveloped nations have always lived like that. Below the poverty level. Degraded and mistreated in society. We can sit here comfortably and say God is with us, blessing us.

Many people give such excuses to NOT believe in a God who's involved in our world, who's listening in, and whose hand is moving amongst men. We cannot fathom. How? How is it that things are so wrong, so messed up, so unfair if God is here?

For me, instead of saying, I see all this injustice, there can't be a God. I'm thinking, precisely because there is such injustice, such hopelessness, there HAS to be a God!

No matter how many times I sort it out in my mind, I will always return again to the same question every time I see something so sad, so tragic, so unfair, so terrible happen. Is God really in this with us? With these people?

The Word says He is right here. And He will reveal Himself to all those who call out to Him. Make that one prayer. That's the beginning of the faith of a mustard seed, as Jesus said. If it doesn't make sense, and you're thinking like me, how can there be a God? Make that prayer. I tell you for sure, God will reveal Himself and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Salvation isn't MERELY about receiving blessings and living your best life now. It isn't about God being some sort of gumball machine, some sort of genie pandering to your wants at your convenience, at your disposal. Salvation is not just about 'going to heaven when you die'! Remember I used the words 'merely' and 'not just'.

But the essence of salvation in Christ Jesus is this, knowing that we are hopeless, we are lost, we are engulfed by darkness and injustice, and admitting that we NEED saving. Humanity needs saving. No man, no religion, no law, no education, no good works, no charisma, can save you and I, my friends! Only God, through Jesus Christ, can.

So why does God allow all these bad things to happen? Why do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Why do some kids become orphans, why do some turn out notorious criminals, drug addicts?

We can ask all these why questions that will for the meantime go unanswered. I agree with C.S. Lewis when he ingeniously puts it this way:

'Can a mortal ask questions that God finds unanswerable? Quite possibly. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. It is like asking, why is yellow a square?'

Spot on! We humans cannot fathom God's ways. Yet I tell you, we are not meant to be entirely clueless. God breathed life into His inspired Word and there we will find our answers, our hope and encouragement, promises that will stand for eternity.

Although we cannot yet understand why all these sorrowful things happen, we can be rest assured that in all this, God IS in the rubble. Jesus was there. Jesus IS with us, with those people in their suffering. Whatever it is, even those who are notorious troublemakers, only God knows what happened right from the start. God knows the story behind each person's fault, failure and accomplishment.

There is hope in the rubble. There is light in the darkness. There IS a whiff of heaven on earth. There IS a God WITH US through the person of Jesus Christ and now through his Holy Spirit. Everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. So do not despair if you see injustice for the moment, tragedy for the time being. C.S. Lewis said, 'Pain is God's megaphone.' Yes, to wake us up. It is His severe mercy. If there is evil, there has to be good. If there is injustice, justice will come. Maybe not now, definitely not through men. But while we are here, we must speak the truth, be the light, as Jesus spoke the truth and lived in light of eternity.

Carpe diem,

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