So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:18
I enjoy life. I have a wonderful family and value the time I get to spend with my wife and children, from the big moments of trips and adventures to the little moments of wrestling with my children or enjoying a cup of coffee with my wife. I treasure all of those times. I find fulfillment in the ministry I am apart of and the church family that I have the privilege to serve. It is a joy to live life in community, even through the ups and downs. In so many ways I want this life to continue for years and years.
Yet at the same time, I find myself wondering, “God, how long until you make all things right? Until you fulfill your promises to rid the world of evil and sin? Until you come and create a new heaven and earth where you reign supreme?”
I live in what I feel is a safe city, yet in the first seven days of the new year there have been multiple shootings resulting in three homicides and multiple others in critical condition including a one year old little girl who as I write this is in the hospital barely clinging to her life. I see the violence around me and I struggle because the angels announced that Christ would bring peace to earth but the world seems more violent than ever. How long God, until the guns are silenced for good and a true peace reigns in this earth?
I live in what I feel is a safe neighborhood, yet a few weeks ago a house that I can see from my front door window exploded and went up in flames. Two people were inside at the time, one died while the other escaped. We came to find out that they had been cooking Meth and it had exploded. I want to raise my children in a safe neighborhood but I have to face the reality that drug use is everywhere, individuals trying to escape the reality of their lives through abusive means. Yet Christ came to show the world that only in Christ can life have meaning and purpose. How long God, until you end the destructive habits of our lives?
My wife works in the health care industry, men and women dedicated to helping and serving others. Yet recently there have been a string of thefts out of lockers, individuals having money and personal items stolen while they are working to literally save people’s lives. It doesn’t seem right. Who has the nerve to steal from those who are serving others? How long God, until you punish those who steal for their own gain? Why do sinners seem to prosper while those who are trying to serve lose so much?
I hear Jesus say, “Repent and believe the good news” and at times I confess, I look around and wonder where is this good news he speaks of. Where is the good news amongst endless violence, drug abuse, and theft? Where is the good news in a world that seems just as corrupted as ever? Where is the good news when I look around and see mostly pain?
And that is when the words of the Apostle Paul become real. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. And we believe beyond hope that these words are true. We believe beyond hope that Jesus did bring good news. We believe beyond hope that even now, even when we can’t see it, God is making all things new. And we believe there is coming a time when God will make the world right, when God will create a new heaven and a new earth, and what has been promised will be fulfilled.
We have hope in the good news. And we pray, dear Lord, come quickly, and make all things new.