There is little we can keep safe.
Indeed, the longer a man lives the more he realizes that his hands cannot keep sickness at bay, his family free of harm, or his business affairs from tragedy. For most, this realization is too great to bear. Not wanting to admit just how little we can control, many have sought to hold the reigns of life in every situation, every relationship, and every micro moment. These individuals fear that if they let the reigns loose, their lives with crumble. What great torment men submit themselves to!
And yet, others, when faced with the great reality of a world much larger than they can own, throw their hands up not in praise but in bitter despair. They admit they can control little so submit to despair without any regret. They are reckless because they feel the world has been reckless to them. They are unwise because they feel God must be just as unwise.
You likely have seen both men in your daily life.
And you are likely tempted to one of these extremes even today.
For the world is indeed very unsafe. And the more things we love, the more this reality haunts our dreams and days. We think of our spouse or kids or friends or future and we are often met with anger or despair. At the bottom, however is fear. And hope does send roots down in the soil of fear. For fear is rocky and shallow. Fear is hard and burnt. Fear is scorched by our anger or drained by our despair.
So we must ask, “How do we have hope when things feel so unsafe?”
If you look at the world, you will see men actively answering this question everyday. The workaholic answers this with his labor – believing if he gathers enough business the walls will be high enough to keep out the unsafe things. The drunk does the same, believing that if he forgets enough then perhaps he will remember how to keep things safe.
Both do little but promise so much. If we wish to have hope in a world where so many things can die, we must not be bound to the walls of this world. We must, everyday, remember that a Father once lost something very precious. We often imagine a God that does not feel and we must fix our perception. For on the day that the Creator of mountains, lovers, oceans, and good wine lost His child, He ripped the earth with darkness. He grieved.
God grieved. Dear heart, believe that God grieved.
He grieved violently, and with emotion, and with action, and with rage. He tore the night with black as He restrained His mighty hand. He watched with horror as His son was ripped. And yet, he knew this would be the destiny. He knew from the beginning. And He carried that knowledge with patience until the right time.
And He had to listen to His son say,
“Dad, if there’s another way, please do that…but if not I’ll do it anyway because I love you and I love us.”
And He hurt. He allowed Himself much hurt. Our Father knows great grief.
There is more to say on this matter of hope, for resurrection tells the rest of the plot. Yet, for now friend, I believe it is good to end here. For one of the hardest things about fear is that we feel God gave us the short end of the stick without any sympathy. Oh, heart, God knows a blackness you will never know. Oh, soul, believe that grief is no stranger to our God. You have a King that saw His royal blood spilled and yet allowed the spilling.
Our Father knows grief.
Let that truth warm your limbs before turning the page.