Have you noticed that the world does not seem to be brimming with good news?
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” people say, as they shake their heads at their television screens. “Why don’t people learn?” they say, as they spoon dinner onto plates. “What has the world come to?” they repeat to their friends, wide-eyed, heads tilted, as if the world has never before seen catastrophic events, as if the universe has been a fairytale since the beginning, and only now are we reaching the point in the story with the dragons and the witches and the curses.
Suffice to say, there is not a lot of good news to spread around throughout our days. In our personal lives, there is a distraction from heavenly perspective, maybe because we can’t envision it, or maybe because we’re not fully paying attention. In the outside world, it seems every day there is another news coverage on a horrible atrocity kicking around the globe.
Some days, there just is no good news. Isn’t there?
I’ll be the first to admit to my own humanness, that through my own lens of subjective news, sometimes none of it is good, sometimes the day is just uncomfortable.
But there is news outside of me that is good and will always be good. Every single day. And it’s my choice as to whether or not I want to look towards that good news or not, my choice as to whether or not I will make the decision that if it’s good news enough for God, it’s good news enough for me.
“But the fact is, it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it is our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins. He took the punishment, and that made us whole.” (Isaiah 53:5, MSG)
Let this be your good news. Let this be your best news. Let this be the anthem you sing from your heart when you’re on the mountaintop, and the tattoo you scrawl over your palms when you’re in the valley, a reminder that though the day is so dark, there is still this piece of good news.
The problem with humanity is that it is very, very broken. We can sugar-coat that we all want to, but I guarantee we’ve all felt the wounds of a sharp tongue; have probably been the ones to deliver those words. We’ve all felt the guilt of sin. I know for sure we’ve all felt the fear of a new day.
But this is the humanity that God wants to draw back to himself. It can seem so mundane, but to Him it is his most precious creation. Humanity with all of its flaws, all of its love, all of its joy. Their weddings, their funerals, their tears. Their fingers, their smiles, their long, rambling words that fall out like string from their mouths, their tumbling tears, their jealousy as green as a monster. Yes, he says, this is whom I love. This is whom I will make new.
You. And me.
So on the days when the strength is just this verse, it’s just “for God so loved the world”, let it be enough. Collapse in the throne room with no strength left, and pray that He will renew it.
And then, remember. The cross is there for the redemption of the people of God. The healing of the people of God. We can not only pray for it, but we can expect it. It is what he has promised us.
It may not look like immediate relief, for you. It might look like moving forward, day by day, and when you look back you realize that every day was a little easier, a little brighter, as if God was revealing his healing towards you like a sunrise; slow, gradually, brilliantly. But rest assured, He is in your midst like He is in your sunrise.
And then stand. Put on the full armour of God so you can stand. Stand to sing of his praises. Stand to proclaim his glory. Stand so that you are strong in who He is. Stand so you can reach down to lift others up.
Stand, and be healed.
Stand, and see the day that the Lord has made.
“Therefore, put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13, NIV)