How did our country get this way? Anyone with even the slightest moral compass knows that somewhere we’ve taken a wrong turn. The too often “breaking news”, whether from Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Minnesota or Texas was chilling and sorrowful.
Everyone from the President, governors, police official, reverends and talking heads tell us something is amiss. Something has fundamentally changed. Hate has become stronger it seems, than tolerance. Wrong has become right.
Jeremiah, known as the “weeping prophet” grieved over the signs he saw in his own nation – signs that told him things had to turn better or the downward slide would continue at roller coaster speed. And God would let it go on and on.
A prophet spoke God’s words. Supernaturally he connected with the Almighty in such a way that God used him to convey His heart and thoughts. One of those “words from God” goes this way. “For My people are fools; they do not know Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing what is evil, but they do not know how to do what is good.”
Pretty damning words from God…”they do not know to do what is good”.
I’m not of the opinion we’re there yet as a nation. But who can convince me we’re not headed that way? Yet I have hope that there are still millions, perhaps still the majority, who do know how to do what is good. And if I’m correct, they’re not yet willing to throw in the towel and give in to injustice and immorality, including in our leaders. Not yet.
Among those who should know right from wrong is the community of faith, whether in a locality or the conglomerate of believers across the land. But knowledge can’t be held within, especially when it has the power to change the tide and bring us back.
So, how do we respond? Let me suggest a few things.
First, as always, we can pray. Prayer is first because it can and should be an immediate response. But take the effort to look up the names of those killed last week and pray for their families. They’re struggling with pain, anger and of course grief. Pray that the “God of all comfort” finds ways to bring them what He brings best.
Then pray for our leaders and those who would be. The Bible says that our prayers for those in authority are “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity”. Note that it doesn’t say, “so that we can live however we choose” or “so that those we agree with are in control”. God, in troubling times, desires us to live in “godliness and dignity”.
Second, do some introspective evaluation. Ask yourself (as I frequently as myself) if I’m cheering when someone “gets what he/they deserve”. That’s a hypocritical reaction for someone who believes in grace and mercy. And it’s easy for hypocrites to hide behind masks. In fact, that’s what the word means.
Third, look for opportunities to speak the Good News. I’m a firm believer that no matter what the world throws up (literally and figuratively) God has something better for us all and He has freely provided it in the gift of His Son.
He’s the cure for what’s broken. And He has a plan.
He is the plan.