How long, oh Lord, will you wait until you do something? Many of us have found ourselves asking, “Oh Lord, when will you return?” Or saying, “Come, Jesus or Yeshua, come!” Some Bible scholars are stating such things as: America is the new Babylon or God has lifted His hand of protection off our country. We are tempted to think they are correct. We all have seen the moral outcry and outrage for the senseless murders of innocent children in Uvalde, Texas. This is definitely justified. However, where is the moral outrage towards the senseless killings of our children in general? According to Statista.com 1090 children were murdered, ages 0-16, in 2020. Over half were between the ages of 0 & 12. The Department of Justice archives tells of a study done in 2009 showing that 60% of American children were exposed to violence, crime or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities with nearly 40% being direct victims of two or more violent acts. And this is dated data!
This is just one snippet of how our children are under attack – in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Couple this with the continuing disintegration of the nuclear family, the lack of teaching of moral values in homes & schools, and biblical values in churches, the breakdown of the English language with regards to pronouns, making decisions of children’s sexuality to be other than how they were created, and the list goes on. We see such animosity towards the possible overturning of Roe vs Wade. It is a woman’s right to choose; but what about the baby’s right to life. We weep over the 19 killed in Texas; who weeps for the 63,000,000 babies whose lives were taken away? Oy veh! Each of these topics create heated conversations by well-meaning people who very much think they are right – even within the Christian community. And we continue to cry out – O Lord, help!!!
If you are anything like me, what you’ve just read will make you irritated and even angry. Most of the anger will be directed towards the injustice we see around us – the contrariness to God’s word effecting our children, our families and our country. One or two may be irritated or angry with me. Another person feeling the importance of sharing their thoughts. Don’t we get enough of this on TV or radio, in newspapers and even on occasion from the pulpit? Apparently not, because ‘what is wrong with the world’ gets brought up at mealtime, around the water cooler at work, at the stores, hairdressers, movie theaters and bowling alleys – just to name a few. And we wonder why people are angry and frustrated all the time.
But, then a dear friend sends a picture of their new grandchild, you happen to see two jack rabbits playing in the front yard, a favorite bush in your back yard continues to bloom and bloom and bloom, you receive a card or a call that just blesses your day, the children finished the school year much better than anticipated, and the list goes on and on. How about we mention falling in love, favor with the car mechanic, a positive medical report, enjoying a good book, and a long awaited vacation finally happening. Suddenly the world seems right again. At least for the moment the angst & frustrations begin to wash away in the beautiful truths of these experiences. Many of you can add to my lists. It might be an interesting exercise to remind ourselves of what we’ve been given, what we’ve been blessed with.
I don’t write this because it sounds good, wise or encouraging. This is also part of my own continuing story in the Lord. For the last few weeks I’ve found myself “stuck” in the first 2 paragraphs above. “Oh Lord, how do I encourage others to remain faithful in their prayers for the _______ we see around us.” Just yesterday, I had lunch with a friend and I voiced my frustration in finishing this newsletter. “I get so angry at things and then I look at a picture my daughter recently sent me. I feel that anger leave.” I would love to tell you that we spent hours in prayer about this. No! Her words were quite simple: “Sounds like you need balance.” As I was driving home, those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Only not quite so painful!
Balance! This took me to the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Just above these verses is found another list – Galatians 5:19-22: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. We very much see the world today in these verses and it pains us.
Fruit of the Spirit – God’s characteristics imparted to and nurtured within you and I through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is my prayer that we choose to rely all the more on the faithfulness of God’s Spirit within us. Yes, there will be times where “righteous anger” is important and necessary. However, let us not find ourselves staying there – regardless of what the world does or well-meaning people might say. Let us find balance as we continually rest in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, children of the Lord Most High, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.