But I must write it.
It saddens me.
It frightens me for those who refuse to trust God, to open their hearts to the Almighty, to Christ Jesus, to His Spirit.
It causes me to be so very thankful I know God who is Compassion and Love and Joy and Peace and the Great Creator.
I continued reading in Isaiah this morning. Today I read chapters three, four and five. Five especially pronounces doom onto Israel for their turning away from God.
The following characteristics described the nation at the time:
pride (as in full-of-yourself kind of pride),
crushing others to get ahead;
seductive eyes and all that goes with them.
I read these chapters and saw America. I love America. I love being American. I'm proud to be an American and I am so thankful this is where I get to raise my children. But, we as a nation have grabbed hold of ourselves and our own lusts rather than grabbing hold of God. We've unleashed the beast in our own lives and the beast is beginning to devour us all.
We've given the beast permission to destroy and oppress and take and take and take and crush those who cannot speak for themselves. There are pockets of compassion throughout our country and there are great things happening in Christ's name. In times of tragedy we do still come together but not like we used to. Think of the horrific tragedy of the Connecticut killings just last month -- the nation was rightly horrified and saddened by it, but shortly thereafter it was and is being used as a vehicle to further political ideology or prejudice or whatnot -- it has become a tool.
Our country's media is good at talking a good game but all the talk is hollow.
We speak of compassion but it isn't lasting.
We speak of love but it is love for self and self-preservation and self-interest that wins out over all other kinds of love.
(Sadly, any so-called "Christian" verbal response is not much better than anything said by anyone else. The ones who do what God calls them to do and go where God leads them to go to help and love and share the love of Christ and His good news are the ones making a difference -- oh, that each of us will be part of this kind of response....)
The ones who will suffer the most will be the weak, the fragile, the children; relationships, families.
Please, guard what has been entrusted to you with love and joy. Ask Christ to come into your life. He wants to. He created you for relationship with Him. He is not about rules or dos and don'ts. He is the Great I Am.
But don't guard what's been entrusted to you with fear or domination or paranoia -- that isn't guarding - -that is grabbing and clutching and hoarding. That is letting fear dominate rather than faith.
Tere is joy in all this too -- where sin grows, grace grows even more. God meets us there. God meets us here. He is the answer to pain, to self-loathing, to fear, to tragedy, to life's blackest moments. We will see the miraculous. When, I don't know. How, I don't know. Where, I don't know that either. But I know God is good, so very good and so much more than anything that comes against us.
God's Compassion is Great (Psalm 51:1).
And Jesus said, "I have overcome the world." (John 16:33c).
He has overcome it all. He has no limits. His mercy, His grace, His love, His peace are all without limits.