In wake of the devastating pictures of Haiti, the craziness and chaos of "health care reform," and the era where people claim to like Jay Leno more than Conan O' Brien, it's easy for many to throw their theological hats into the ring; postulating, prognosticating, and evaluating where God is in times of chaos. After all, wouldn't a good God gave save and protect us from all of this? look around - It's hard to escape tragedy. My vacation time this December was immersed in it; hurting friends, broken people, desperate parents of hurting kids, and the anger and shock fully - bloomed patterns of addiction. In quiet moments that followed conversations and phone calls, my joy was stolen, and I pull up my hood and try to escape the world as I quietly mumble to myself the words that I hate to hear myself say: "I deserve better than this...I've done so and so, for so and so, for so long...I need to get away"
Yiikes. Did I just say that? Do I deserve better? I'm guessing you've been there...
We are brimming with cumbersome, murderous greed,
And malevolence deep and profound.
We do unspeakable deeds, does our wickedness know any bounds?
Something's gone terribly wrong with everyone;
All the world is mad.
Darkness brings terrible things; the sun is gone -
What vanity! our sad, wretched fires.
We can't medicate man to perfection again;
We can't legislate peace in our hearts.
We can't educate sin from our souls, it's been there from the start.
But the blind lead the blind into bottomless pits,
Still we smile and deny that we're cursed.
But of all our iniquities ignorance may be the worst.
(Dustin Kensrue/Thrice - "All the World is Mad")
The gospel exposes the idea that "I'm good on my own," or that my actions alone will bring me consistent, eternal peace, as what they truly are: lies. No amount of "can-do"-ness, long hours, or clean language can earn my that hope. Apart from Jesus, I continually contribute to the chaos and ugliness of this world. As believers, we cling to the promise of Jesus in John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” In the end, my hope is not in stable earth, stable governments, or an NBC without Jay leno (still hoping though). My hope is in Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who bring the hope of being made new to our suffering and momentary troubles. This hope changes the way that I suffer and endure...for I deserve nothing good apart from Him.
In the meantime, tragedy must be times where we remind one another that "it could have been us," and sometimes, "maybe it should have been us." Rather than flippantly tooting our horns on religious broadcasting, or fill out blogs with "better us then we" remarks, we must bring the gospel to bear with our time, our talents, and our treasures. All must be used to point to the madness of the world, and the hope of Jesus in the midst of the madness.