Seeking Good in the Aftermath of Destruction
Wide-scale destruction. Over the course of a week our eyes behold images of the ravaging path of hurricanes, flooding, fires, terrorists… We see so much suffering in our land and in our world.
Unity is a virtue that shines brightly in the aftermath of destruction. Being negatively affected together unites us. The force of bonding is instant and lasting. Watch the videos of the people who have been directly affected come together and find strength in helping one another. Notice the surrounding communities and nation as a whole stepping up to lend a hand in their time of need. Do you hear more the pronoun we in place of I in the days following disaster?
I do not like destroying forces of evil- hear me clearly. But I do love how we treat one another in humility. Things that were sociably acceptable as points of division now have no place upon which to stand. That foundation was removed in the destruction, and now all that remains is the fact that we are human and in need. So there is good to be found in the aftermath of evil. We see with fresh eyes in our present day the reality of what has always been in the history of mankind. At the core of our existence, we are one because our sinful nature and its destructive path leading to hell creates a desperate need for help. That is beautiful humility. Not only does Jesus offer us salvation from sin’s stronghold when we humbly confess, but He also teaches us humility when we walk with Him.
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).
What’s the big deal about humility, you ask? First, it’s the only way an individual can come to God. To receive His grace-gift of everlasting life, you and I first confess that we have sinned against Him. We bring nothing to the table of agreement except our yes- “Yes, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness,” and “Yes, I receive Jesus, the grace of God to me that I may have new and eternal life.” That action takes humility. Second, we must have Jesus’ nature within to produce the grace that loves and forgives one another in spite of our weaknesses in the flesh. The Spirit within is always willing, but the flesh is weak, and in a weak moment we undoubtedly will hurt one another. In response to hurt caused by another, pride pushes away, but humility embraces. Humility says, “I understand. I have acted out of the weakness of my flesh at times too. I forgive you and know that I may be in need of your forgiveness one day down the road as well.”
Isn’t it prideful to believe you would never do that detestable thing you saw another do? Isn’t it humbling to see yourself in a similar muck of your own making at a later point in life? That’s what I mean. The sin nature is universal. We cannot think ourselves to exist above it. Instead, we can be honest and believe we are just as capable. Remember the old saying, “There but by the grace of God go I?”
The sin nature is universal, and God proves his grace be global. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17). That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn’t have to depart heaven to become familiar with our suffering in the weakness of flesh. But He did. And He lived a sinless life to fulfill the needed sacrifice for sin- a lamb without spot or blemish. “… Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people…” (Hebrews 9:28).
Friend, the disasters and onslaught of evil are numerous, and we may even see an increase of them in the coming days. Today’s reality of hardship already may have forced you into a humble state, or perhaps you’re realizing anew the call to walk humbly with your God- out of choice. Regardless of the catalyst, may we all see ourselves as one- totally dependent upon the grace of God. And may the grace of God that we have in Jesus Christ shine brightly in the darkness.