There was another shooting on Sunday. Another. Shooting. At a church. So many people died. And as I scrolled through Twitter I saw more discussion on the merits or perils of gun control than I did about how to help a local church that just went through something horrific.
I don’t always speak kindly. I’ve said the phrase “I hate people” more recently than I care to admit. But sometimes, I feel as if I really do. But it’s not people I hate. No, I mourn for people. I hate this world and the curse that ravages it daily. I hate corruption, cruelty, shaming, unkindness, assumptions… I hate sin. It’s painful to commit and painful to see.
I snap at my husband sometimes. As soon as it happens, I know I’m wrong. I know I shouldn’t. And I fight against my temper constantly. But sometimes, I let me get the best of me. And I snap. Or speak harsh words. Or push away when I should be pulling closer. He is gracious to me. I, the sinner.
My own unrighteousness haunts me and I constantly wonder, how others’ unrighteousness can’t haunt them?? How can people treat other people so viciously?! How can they act this way? How can they not see what they do really does?
I know there’s a difference between me and what we Christians call “the world.” I know that the only thing standing between me and being just like the people whose actions I can’t understand is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He traded his robes for mine and I can stand before the throne of God, completely without fault. Jesus took the punishment for mine sin so I could walk away debt free. I have been made new in him. And I am not the only one. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. To save! His robe can be traded for yours too.
When I walk outside and see injustice and sin all around me, it’s exhausting. From cars on the road that cut you off or honk at you for not running a red light to little snipes and bites between people who call each other “friend,” to people who don’t listen to other people, to all the other “every day” injustices, all I feel is exhaustion. I want to fix everyone and take away their pain, but I can’t reach everyone. And then that desire to help turns into frustration which turns to weariness which turns into exhaustion. It’s, well, exhausting.
So, what do you do? What are we to do when creation is groaning in pain? When we see devastation, hurt, and cruelty everywhere? When we see brothers and sisters in Christ failing to get along? Or when we see Christians calling deceivers “brother” in the name of ecumenicism? Or when we watch as people make politics more important than immediate suffering? Or when we hear another horror story of what this person did to that person and did you know they’re siblings/parent and child/best friends/coworkers/etc? What. Do. We. Do.
Weep. It’s okay to cry. Jesus himself wept. He understands. He weeps with you. The sin and pain that is all over this world is horrible and it calls for tears.
Pray. For opportunities. For hope. To remember that though our world is fallen, there is still good. There are still daily, new morning mercies to behold and soak in. God is still God, he is still good, and his hand still turns the world. He knows and sees every bit of pain and suffering. And he is good. He gives good things to us. He gave me my husband, who loves me even when I’m cranky and knows that sometimes, I just need to be cuddled to know that everything will be okay. He gave me his son, who died on a cross and rose again three days later so that sinners like me could live. He gave me writing, one of the best gifts I have ever received (after salvation and my husband). Pray for the ability to remember what is good and for the grace to be what is good in this weary, broken world.
Read. Soak yourself in God’s Word. For it is there you will find your hope. I know and understand how hard it can be to establish the daily habit of breathing in the good air of God’s Word. But it is so important. Even doing something small like picking a verse to memorize and spending your week on it can do wonders for your soul. Going to the Bible is like coming up for fresh air.
Help. You don’t have to start a world-changing non-profit to help (although if that’s your jam, definitely do it). Just be there. Be a friend. Be that kind word someone might need. Make eye contact and share a smile with someone who looks weary. Listen. So many people just need someone to listen. Do things. Take the gifts and talents you have been given and use them for the glory of God. Do the thing you’re supposed to do and let everything you do be done for God’s glory.
Live. Some days, the world is going to exhaust you. It exhausts me constantly. But don’t let the weariness of this world stop you from living well in the time you have on earth. If you, like me, know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you know without a doubt that this world is not conclusion. It’s not even close. One day, sin with all the pain and sorrow that it brings will be no more! It will be forever eradicated. So live with that hope. Spread that hope. Introduce others to that hope.
When the world is exhausting, find peace and hope in the arms of your Savior.