I’ve been sandbagging on writing this post.
It’s week two in Compassion Bloggers Week. 3108 new children sponsored. That’s our goal. We got our assignment Monday. Write a letter to God about Compassion.
I closed the email and pushed away.
I … just … can’t.
I’ve been engaged in herculean wrestling matches of the soul over this issue … because my letter only has one line. (Surprising, no?)
Dear God … Why?
Just, why? Sex trafficking. Famine. Starvation. Refugee Camps. Rape. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Tsunamis.
Sin is the easy answer.
But there is nothing easy about the faces flickering across television screens and what’s spilled in stories from survivors.
It’s not easy to crawl out of my own excess and witness the world on fire. It feels … useless to empty my measly bucket of water on the raging inferno of need.
I spin away … searching … lamenting.
Some days I find my way home.
John Piper explains it like this … (emphasis mine).
“But God commits no crimes when he brings famine, flood, and pestilence on the earth. “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6). The answer of the prophet is no. God’s own testimony is the same: “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things” Isaiah 45:7). And if we ask, is there intelligent design in it all, the Bible answers: “You meant evil . . . but God meant it [designed it] for good” (Genesis 50:20).
This will always be ludicrous to those who put the life of man above the glory of God. Until our hearts are broken, not just for the life-destroying misery of human pain, but for the God-insulting rebellion of human sin, we will not see intelligent design in the way God mingles mercy and judgment in this world. But for those who bow before God’s sovereign grace and say, “From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever,” they are able to affirm, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33,36).”
I can’t understand, can’t know how God chooses to mingle His mercy and His judgement. Most days, in my heart of hearts, I want to make more of man. To make us worthy.
I don’t even come close. It’s laughable. Or miserable, depending on the moment.
One word … five letters … mercy … bridges the gap my puny efforts fall infinitely short of scaling.
I was explaining it to the J Girl the other day in the car.
The gospel in our unworthiness. (It’s kind of blowing her mind right now … and mine.)
So, on those days when I cease wrestling … when I slow the spin … when I am all gratitude for the mercy … I am spurred onward in obedience.
There is much I don’t know about the mind of God but His Word is written clear, on pages, on hearts.
We have hope in the truth of the gospel. The Word made flesh, death defeated.
And, oh, in this world there is death and sadness … but this Word made flesh, this God-with-skin, mourns with us as our hearts break in our own lives, mourns with us as our hearts break for the poor, the lost, the hungry.
Give justice. Love mercy. Protect the widows and orphans. Feed the hungry.
It’s written clear and today … this day, I choose to obey.
It looks different for us all. Truly, I hope and pray that you’ll sponsor a child with Compassion International. Click on the sidebar banner on my blog to start. Or go the Compassion Sponsorship Page.
However you get there, to Compassion, or to whatever your obedience looks like … just go.
And while you are staring down the suffering, ponder this, from Ann Voskamp … (of course.)
“If I raise the problem of evil in this world — shouldn’t she [her daughter] raise higher the greater problem of good? If evil is seeming evidence to eradicate God from our mental landscape, then doesn’t goodness, even in this apron, testify to the gospel truth of God?
How can we behold loveliness and say that this world looks like it would if there were no God?”
(Also, for regular readers, we have been in a holding pattern at the Huggins Middle the last few weeks waiting for some potentially big news. Hence the lack of postings on our little life. Couldn’t really think about anything else. But I think we are done and I’ll be back to oversharing in no time. Thanks for being patient, I’ll have stories to tell next week:)