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Friday, September 23, 2011

The hideousness of a fallen world

Hideous. I hate sin. I hate what terrible things happen because we live in this sin-corrupted world. But I don’t blame God. God is holy and righteous and just.
It comes down to man’s disobedience to Him. We owe Him our obedience. He created us. We belong to Him. We would have nothing without Him. But we still disobey. We still mock. We still toss out His name in our sentences as if it were a trash. Reduce what should be a prayer to three hip letters and an exclamation point.

God created Adam and Eve immortal not immoral. The Garden was more beautiful than we can possibly imagine or understand. They were in the PERFECT ENVIRONMENT. They had no baggage from their upbringing to excuse their actions. They needed nothing. They were in peak health, had the most nutritious and delicious food (no GMO, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, blight, drought, nothing to keep the food from being perfect). Nothing was going to kill them. They were in paradise on earth. NO SIN.

Then they blew it. Eve was deceived, but Adam listened to his wife’s persuading tongue and deliberately disobeyed God. Bam. Everything changed. Suddenly death was a part of life. Suddenly distress, disease, and ugliness were smeared across creation.

Weeds. Floods. Fires. Hurricanes. Volcanoes. Pain. Horror. Adultery. Hate. Distrust. Lies. Terror. Anguish. Torture. Child Abuse. Misery. Infidelity. Heartache. Abortion. Theft. Wickedness. Disobedience. Slander. Murder. Sexual immorality. Having to say goodbye.

Honestly, if it weren’t for Jesus Christ, I could not face this world. It is so full of evil. Thank God for His Son and His sacrifice. Thank God for His calling.

Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting? (1 Cornithians 15:55)

[Did you know that the sting of death is sin? My pastor mentioned that recently. I had not thought of that before. Like the sting of a scorpion injecting poison into its prey I suppose.]

It is only by the grace of God that people can see past the pain and into the joy. This is why it is possible to endure pain and look forward to the day when there will be none (Revelation 21:5).

This is why a dear, sweet man who is dying of brain cancer—cancer that throughout his brain now—can be at peace, knowing that as soon as this life ends, he is in the presence of His Lord. This is why his family—though the ache of the losing is acute—can rest and rely on Jesus to carry them through the pain, knowing that one day they will be reunited with their husband, father, brother and together they will again worship their God.

This is why a father and mother could sit at the side of the hospital bed where their fragile, beautiful baby girl was lying with a respirator and all manner of tubes keeping her alive, praying to God for a miracle. And at the same time remember clearly that though the Lord does sometimes answer our prayers with life, He also allows death, but not without hope (2 Samuel 12:23). This is why this father and mother could make the hardest decision they had ever faced, “It was time. Either we were getting a miracle or Rory was leaving. Either way, it was time.”

Read that story. See the beauty in the midst of the pain. If you don’t know their Lord and mine, pursue His mercy, His grace, and His peace.

I praise my God who works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He is my Rock and my Redeemer. I still hate sin and its effects, but I love the One who will set it all right one day (Romans 8:19-21).

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