He heals the wounds of every shattered heart. Psalm 147:3 (TPT)
Run From The Mess – Heaven and Earth Series – Part 4
The word “scripture” describes a piece of writing that is truth or sacred to a group of people. Many religions have their own scriptures. And they ALL view their scriptures as sacred truth, just like we do.
I think we all have a scripture. We all have sacred writings that inform and shape us. Whether it be words on paper, memories hidden in our hearts, the blood pumping through our hearts, or our fathers voices in our ears. Nature has a scripture; history shares its scriptures; our individual lives tell a sacred story: scripture, holy and true.
We’ve spent the last couple of days looking at how the beauty found in the natural world is permeated with Christ and declares his glory, in its own way. The stars, sun, and ocean. A soft, warm breeze… The rocks cry out his praises.
But what about the parts of nature that are twisted and dangerous? What about the places around the earth that are dark and destitute, cruel and evil?They don’t seem to testify to the nature and character of the Divine. They exude fear and hostility, confusion and hopelessness.
What do we do with that part of the story?
ALL life is precious: God created us all in love and hope. And when it came to it, he was willing to risk his own son – he got as vulnerable as he could – to show us that we belong together, side by side. Family. United in love and purpose.
When you look at what's happening around the world – wars and politics and hunger and violence and greed – there are people that deserve anything but grace and love. They don’t seem to fit in our idea of “family.” Some people fill our hearts with fear and anger, they hurt and destroy with their words and actions… What do we do with that part of the story?
The Bible isn’t all good stories. Within its pages, in its scriptures (sacred and holy) are some crazy mixed up stories. There’s murder, incest, abuse, war, retribution, slavery… There’s a lot of heart wrenching, sad and horrific events in it. If you read the Bible with no baggage and no expectations and explore all its corners, it can be a pretty confusing book. What do we with the complicated parts of the story? The parts that make no sense at all?
When I look at the Biblical text, the sacredness of it isn’t whether or not it’s inerrant, materially, or whether or not it can be proved historically; it isn’t about splitting hairs and crossing t’s. The sacredness for me comes through the narrative. It’s about the collective story and what it's trying to show us about God.
And for me, that narrative is redemption, healing, and growth.
Redemption is the end goal. This is true for nature, for the parts of our lives that we’re embarrassed and ashamed about, and for the parts of our collective and individual histories that disgust us.
“He heals the wounds of every shattered heart.” Ps 147:3 (TPT)
And when redemption plays a key role in the narrative, we don’t have to run from the things we can’t explain, the things that terrify and confuse us. We can approach them with faith and grace, facing them head on, knowing that we’re not expected to understand instantly, or even in a lifetime, but we are invited to explore and adventure down the possibilities of God’s redemptive ways for the earth, each other, and ourselves.
As is the way with God, he involves us in his redemption – we are not bystanders. What we have been freely given, we can freely give. We don’t just receive redemption, we are a part of it. We can write this impossible, beautiful scripture across the world with our own lives.
Don’t run from the mess, don’t run from complicated, don’t ignore the plight of the hungry and the broken, don’t run from war-torn refugees, don't shut out the addict, the criminal or the outcast, don't hide from the broken, complicated and downright terrifying aspects of life in this world…
And rather than (or as well as) have a million words to post about it all on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram… embrace these places, these people, with your whole heart and life. Just as The Christ has done for you.
Over to you..Are you comfortable with the mess of uncertainty? Leave us your comments below.
Go to Part 5 – The Fallen »