Devotional/Discussion thought of the Day:
The cries of pain kept me up late into the night, as I remember the words on the radio, the comments on television, the wars of words that filled Facebook and twitter.Even as I struggle amid the realization that I cannot understand the evil that drove a man in Connecticut to act in such an.. evil.. way, the responses didn’t seem to want to diminish the evil but rather revel in hate. Even as I was starting to get to the point where I could pray, the news of another massacre in an elementary school, this one in China, filled my screens… Add to that the publicity-seekers, who rather then send their condolences private, but issued condolences via press releases, and those speculated on the why’s, and the how to prevent the next unpreventable tragedy.
For those who have been involved in such traumas, as I was in 2005*, the speculations and declarations are not something that is beneficial – the most hurtful are those that indicate God allowed such trauma because of this, or that. Indeed, the pain is only increased, the questioning of God that is part of the process of grief made even more painful. The people of God think that God is so petty that He would allow such trauma because we took prayer out of schools? Or that because we didn’t confront one sin directly. ANd then I realize – I am focusing my anger, as inappropriately as those I want to confront for their inappropriate focus….
I know we hurt, even those on the fringe, or who see the fears for their children lived out in the lives of others. We in our anger and pain want to strigke out – want to rail against the evil – we want to take on something. I understand that! I know that desire – to somehow focus all of our rage, all of our pain on someone….
There is only one place to focus that rage – to focus that pain, to focus the anger…..the place that God focused it – along with all His wrath – not just for this massive evil example of sin, but all of the sin we deal with…
We have to go to the cross – to pour out our pain, our anguish, our anger on Jesus Christ – as He lies there – a victim unlike any other – for He chose to be the victim – to take all of the wrath for such actions, to let such sin, and the grief it causes to be nailed with Him there to the cross.
It is there – that our reactions, which can in themselves be sinful and trauma causing and sinful.. can be poured out…. on Jesus, as the cross…
The prophet Isaiah put it this way…
1 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought GOD’s saving power would look like this? 2
4 But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. 5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.Isaiah 53:1-5 (MSG)
And as you pour out your pain, your grief, and yes, your anger on Him, know that He endures it, even as He despises the shame… for the joy of knowing your healing.
God’s peace flood you life.. this day… and each…..
*( I was part of a team that ministered and counseled students dealing with a murder/multiple homicide – an entire family wiped out)