"I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away."
- U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday
Things are a mess. Blood and rainbows and so much hatred.
And I keep hearing Christians say that this is the end. They keep wondering how we can even go on at all. They keep crying and they keep doubting. Things are bad, they say. Really bad. And they curl up and look away. They plan their escape. They wonder where they can run to and how quickly they can get there.
“When Job lifted his face to the Storm, when he asked and was answered, he learned that he was very small. He learned that his life was a story. He spoke with the Author, and learned that the genre had not been an accident. God tells stories that make Sunday school teachers sweat and mothers write their children permission slips excusing them from encountering reality” (N.D. Wilson). Job thought it was the end, too. He was crushed and any bright, hopeful thing that might have kept him going was crushed. But Job didn't run. Instead, he shouted bold questions up into that Storm and he learned that all of this was meant to happen. He learned that God tells terrible stories and that none of us can get out of hearing them. Plugging your ears doesn't ever make bad things go away. It only makes you fearful and alone.
Things are ugly. But remember that they've been uglier and remember that we need to be brave, rather than dismayed.
Love wins, the world tells us, in glaring letters, and crass words, and anger. Love wins and we win and you should give up now... That is a lie.
Love already won a very long time ago. On a cross. Between two thieves. Take heart and know that there is so much hope. "The gospel gives me hope," writes Andrew Peterson, "and hope is not a language the dark voices understand."
We know something true that the world has forgotten. Laugh and hold that truth close to your heart. The world's voices, no matter how loud they might be, cannot understand hope. Don't believe their lies and don't ever let them take that hope away from you.
"Though He slay me," groans Job, "yet I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). We have to hope and keep on hoping. This, too, will pass away.
Never ever ever give up... He has overcome the world.