The Beginning and the End

 

I sat staring at a blank piece of paper this morning. I have been planning for weeks to relaunch my blog today. I had all of my posts planned out for today and the next few weeks. None of it seemed right. None of it seemed appropriate.

Life is a little heavier this week. What happened in Vegas, is not staying in Vegas. It is far too big to be contained to just that city. It hit far too close to home to leave it there. To be honest, there has been so much disaster and tragedy that have been too close to home. Unfortunately, I have moved on too quickly. I admit, I was not directly affected by the events in the past. I did not have family members in Houston, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Florida…etc. I had empathy for those affected, but moved on too quickly.

What happened in Vegas, happened to friends of friends. It happened to sisters and brothers of friends. It took the lives of members of my community. So yeah…this one stung. The truth is they all should sting.  This was definitely a wake up call.

As I mentioned before, I stared at my blank piece of paper this morning. Not because I had nothing to write, but because I had too much to write. My mind cannot turn off. I prayed that my words would be truthful, loving and full of grace. The only way for that to happen is for my words to be from Gods’ word.

After I read the news of the shooting on Monday morning, I was immediately grieved and turned to God’s word, my comfort. I was confused, like many others. I wanted to know the motive behind this awful event that took the lives of so many. I immediately was like…yep this is it…the world is ending. It is hard not to think like that, with all the evil in our world today. So, with this end of the world mentality, I turned to Revelation. Within the first chapter God gave me some comfort:

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega-the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One.”

Thank you Lord! What comfort I found in those words. He has been here since the beginning and is here now and will still be here in the end. None of this takes him by surprise. After reading this verse I started to think about the beginning and about Genesis. It was interesting going from the end of the Bible back to the beginning but that is where it led me . I started to read in chapter 6 of Genesis,right before the flood. I was reading from a few different bibles and online sources. One titled chapter 6 as “Wickedness in the World” and another “A World Gone Wrong”. These titles are quite fitting for our current climate in America and the world today.

In verse 5 of chapter 6 it says: The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil”.

Consistently and totally evil…hmmm…sound familiar? As I mentioned before, I soon forget about the last tragedy that last occurred, but the fact of the matter is evil is consistently happening. We don’t all learn our lesson and all is good again. Evil continues to build in the hearts of mankind, while truth and love disappears. So, as a believer love must consistently grow in my heart. We must be examples of a God of truth. A God who is the beginning and the end. A God who created us to enjoy his creation and to glorify him and we done messed it up! But even so….still loves us enough to be a God who is both good and just. Who loved us enough to send his Son to die for our wickedness.

In verse 6 we read: So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

Them, refers to mankind. He regretted making us. The wickedness that occurred so quickly in our hearts, broke His. Mankind was literally given the world and it wasn’t enough. We were selfish, lustful, sought after things that were not blessed by God.

It reminds me of my sons’ room. I am big on teaching kids to be responsible and respectful of not only their things but the things that we have bought for them(which is pretty much everything). I saw that my son was getting comfortable with leaving his room a mess. He didn’t mind climbing over the piles of toys. Soon, it gets to the point where I say “alright I am coming in and throwing it all away if you can’t be responsible enough to take care of your things”. This is how we have become as well. God has given us this beautiful world but we become selfish and complacent. We step on and over things, not taking responsibility. Eventually things get broken and lost.

In verse 7 the Lord says, ” I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, I will destroy every living thing-all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”

Yikes! Now, obviously the wickedness here is not the same wickedness of an 8 year old who does not clean his room. But, we are all in need of a savior. We all are sinners and it breaks God’s heart. Which is why I love to read on about Noah finding favor with the Lord.

Earlier on I mentioned that God is both good and just. If you are not a believer all this might seem harsh. This tragedy in Vegas might leave you questioning why would God allow this. This is probably the most asked question by non-believers. It doesn’t make sense because you may not understand who God is. He created a world just for us to enjoy. But, he also created us with free will. Wouldn’t it be awful to follow a God who wanted us all to be robots? He doesn’t want us to be forced into following him. He wants us to follow him because we see his faithfulness and understand who he is. He is good, but he is also just. We need to be corrected. Please do not mistake this as me saying these innocent people deserved any of this. The fact of the matter is because we have a free will and are not puppets, we get to make our own decisions. Some of us make good ones and some of us evil ones. This event was a man acting out on his wickedness.

There is your motive.

That is why my prayers are sufficient during this time. Because, I pray to a God who is far more powerful than this wickedness and who time and time again has given us chances to turn from our wicked hearts. To turn to what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. In order to live a life like this, we must live for the one who created it.

This is tough stuff folks! It isn’t puppies and cupcakes. I was shocked that people got right back to sharing their giveaways on Instagram, sharing what they got at Starbucks that afternoon. I get we don’t want to think about the evil all around us or about bad things. But, for me, this was a wake up call. It is a wake up call to know God’s word and to share it. Share the heck out of it. To not be afraid. I want everyone to spend eternity in heaven and to share in worshipping our creator. To share in the goodness that God has always wanted to share with all of us. To share in a place where there is no evil or pain or suffering. People who don’t understand my beliefs are saying…Do something! Don’t just pray, take action. Well…I will continue to pray because I need God’s direction and you don’t want me making decisions without having a continuing conversation with God. I understand it doesn’t make sense to many, but that is what my prayer will be. That it will make sense and even those who persecute me or mock me for believing in God, will quickly know the truth. But don’t look to me as an example of what being a Christ follower looks like, because I fail. Look to God’s word.

I pray these words comfort you, but also make you uncomfortable in living a complacent life. I pray for boldness in both my life and yours. I pray that evil will not remain in people’s hearts and that many more will come to know God whose greatest commandment to us was to love others. He knew if left to our own devises we would become a world filled with hate, but he also is a powerful God who is powerful enough to change the most wicked of hearts.

Summer

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