June 04, 2020 Ashley Steelman

WHAT IN THE WORLD

WHAT IN THE WORLD

16 He pushed my teeth into rocky ground. He pushed me into the dirt. 17 I thought I would never have peace again. I forgot about good things. 18 I said to myself, “I no longer have any hope that the Lord will help me.”


19 Remember, I am very sad, and I have no home. Remember the bitter poison that you gave me. 20 I remember well all my troubles, and I am very sad.


21 But then I think about this, and I have hope: 22 We are still alive because the Lord’s faithful love never ends. 23 Every morning he shows it in new ways! You are so very true and loyal! 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my God, and I trust him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him. He is good to those who look for him. 26 It is good to wait quietly for the Lord to save them.” Lamentations 3:16-26 ERV



I am wondering about our chances for surviving 2020. At first it was fear of economic collapse brought on by the shutdowns due to Covid-19. I have been aghast at divisive liberal politics that seem to be intentionally ripping this country apart. And then I watched a Minneapolis “peace” officer kill a man named George Floyd, in broad daylight, without batting an eye.


This was not the panicked pulling of the trigger and killing someone in a surge of adrenaline. This did not leave us in the usual state of debate and division about motive. No, we are all in agreement. 


Watching this man put his knee on George Floyd’s neck elicits a deeper reaction than seeing someone die from a split-second decision to pull a trigger. This was decisive, prolonged.


All death is tragic. But the death of George Floyd revealed a deeper darkness. 


The cry for justice and response of protests was to be expected. I am down for peaceful protests that can lead to positive change- and at the very least create conversation. We need to be having some big conversations! Some that should have been had long ago.


However, the rioting, the further loss of life, and mass destruction that has followed in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death and the liberal driven, media fueled narrative of division that continues to plague our nation is painful to see and adds new layers of complexity in trying to resolve an already horrific situation.


We are all united in calling this act evil. But what is occurring across the nation now is just as wicked. I watched George Floyd be murdered on the news and was sickened by it. I have also now watched another man be beaten by rioters into a twisted mess and ultimately die. A 77 year old retired police chief was murdered. The list of needless death is growing. 


It feels like a giant wave of darkness and wickedness has crashed over us. 2020 is too spiritually heavy for me. If I dare watch the news I wrestle with rage or find myself drowning in hopelessness. 


“No justice, no peace.” That’s the phrase being chanted across our nation.

There is another phrase that seems to keep tumbling out of my mouth on the regular as of late. It’s the little idiom used to express surprise, shock, anger, disgust, etc. 


WHAT IN THE WORLD? 


What in the world? is a rhetorical question. That means it is actually a statement: In this world (in actual reality) there is nothing that could explain what is happening. 


This is one of those expressions that is so old that when you look up it’s origin, you find out it is almost literally translated from Latin as "Nulla in mundo pax sincera" ("In this world there is no honest peace.") Which makes it even better for expressing what I am feeling at this moment. 


In this world there is no honest peace.... 


Until I remember God is present and at work in this world. 


The story of the people of God throughout history, in large part, is a call to remembrance.


“Remember God” – is a common sentence in the Old Testament. The children of Israel would follow and praise God, but then life would ebb and flow and they would take their eyes off him, drift away and forget his goodness. Before long a generation has passed and everyone has completely forgotten who God is. Everybody does what is right in his own eyes.


I reckon during this time the same is also true of us. We have all but chucked God out of our nation and then wonder “what in the world?


 There ain’t no peace without God. There ain’t no justice without God. 


Riots are not gonna bring the peace and change we desperately need. Politics and military might won’t either. Policy reform and new laws will be meaningless if we don’t have the moral underpinning for them to be founded on. 


WE NEED GOD! 


We need him in our personal lives, in our homes, and in our communities. There is a major disconnect between heaven and our current culture, yet the Bible—and history—are full of examples of the people of God coming together to effect great change. 


The church has been asking God for a spiritual awakening, but we are quickly realizing that a reckoning—and repentance—must precede an awakening. We’ve gotta pray that God, by His Holy Spirit, would guide us through this era of history and use it as a launch pad to lasting peace.


We need to remember God. 




The Lord’s Message of Freedom

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is on me. The Lord has chosen me to tell good news to the poor and to comfort those who are sad. He sent me to tell the captives and prisoners that they have been set free. He sent me to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness, when our God will also punish evil people. He has sent me to comfort those who are sad, those in Zion who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. He sent me to name them ‘Good Trees’ and ‘The Lord’s Wonderful Plant.’ Isaiah 61:1-3 ERV