Wednesday, June 03 2020
I am weary, God, but I can prevail.” Proverbs 30:1 (NIV)
These words began a small group discussion first thing Monday morning. It is a strange sentence in Hebrew. Two words that may be personal names. One means “weary” or “devoured” and the other means “God is with me.” The night before, I fell asleep after a phone call from my daughter distressed by the situation in her city, our state, and our nation. She said, “I am sad.” Weary and sad sum up how I feel right now.
I am weary and sad for my friends of color – people I have known and loved for many years – who are so weary and sad. I am weary and sad for my friends who look more like me – for what makes them weary and sad. I am weary and sad for people who feel hated and I feel weary and sad for those who hate – “hatred corrodes the container that carries it” (quoted at George H.W. Bush’s funeral). I am weary and sad because I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me and because it seems all I can do is feel sorry for other people. My heart breaks for the brokenness of people of every race, color, creed or any other identifier. My heart breaks for parents trying to help their children make sense of a broken world. My heart breaks for my own brokenness.
Different things cause fear and anxiety in each of us but all of us know fear and anxiety. When I understand my own, perhaps I can empathize with that of another.
I do not know all my questions and I certainly do not know yours. I do not have any answers, but this is what I know:
God created us in His image and chose to call Himself our Father. Jesus taught us how to pray starting with “Our Father.” It reminds me of two things. God loves me like a Father and God loves everybody else like a Father – no matter where they are from or what they have done, the color of the skin or the sins they have committed. How I treat another person is of utmost seriousness to God! As a father, nothing hurts me more than what hurts my children – so I know the Father is hurting because I know all of His children are hurting.
Jesus demonstrated God’s love for us – the self-sacrificial willing of our good at great cost to Himself. Every life is worth the blood of Jesus; no life is worth more and no life is worth less. Jesus bore our sins and the pain it causes us and others. No one understands that pain more than He does. Thus, we must be very careful with the pain of others – even when we do not understand it. When others are in pain, we are called to comfort. The cross is the place where absolute justice meets abundant mercy. May the cross be the lens through which we see everything!
The Holy Spirit jealously desires to dwell in all who welcome Him. Every human life is one God wants to inhabit and transform – no matter skin tone or dress style, language or lifestyle. The scene around the throne in heaven is Jesus in the center with redeemed people of every tribe, tongue, kindred and nation gathered around in adoring worship! If this is God’s desire and dream, should we desire or dream any less.
So we are weary but this God is with us! May we learn to feel what God feels, desire what God desires, think what God thinks, and do what God does. May we learn to love what He loves because He loves us so much and love like He loves because He loves us so well.