It sometimes feels odd to me that my heart can break over so many things while never losing hold on an unfaltering sense of peace and contentment. Or perhaps I should say that this shalom – this peace – never loses hold of me.

My son’s frantic drive to secure a sweetheart while the One Whose heart was pierced for him waits on the sidelines. . .

The Covenant School shooting – the senselessness of an adult opening fire on an elementary school. . .

My sister-in-law’s struggles to find justice and fill a void that only her Creator can fill. . .

Bloodthirsty murders and equally bloodthirsty families of the victims. . .

A people poised to spot a slight or insult at every turn. . .

Egregious media overreach and control. . .

Government chicanery and failure. . .

Wars and rumors of wars. . .

Gender confusion. . .

Moral decay. . .

Insanity. . .

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Yet despite it all – and no small number of physical ailments of my own – I have shalom; an incredible peace that nothing can explain or steal away. It’s the certainty that no matter what happens to my body here, no matter who may wrong or hurt me, no matter what evils may lay in wait for me, ultimate justice WILL be done.

My life is in the hands of the One who breathed it into being, and in Him, I find fullness of joy and eagerly anticipate pleasure forevermore.

Yet I still hurt for those who do not share the certainty. I know that if my son were filling his heart and soul with the Living Water and filling his days glorifying God and enjoying Him, he wouldn’t rush into relationships to soothe an ache no woman can soothe.

I grieve for my sister-in-law who would rest at ease, not seeking to get even but trusting in the One who will one day repay all wrongs – except for those wrongs committed by those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19-20

So I pray and I wait. I pray to see these and many others I know and love (and some I merely know) to surrender to the Lord Jesus. I ask the Holy Spirit to come to them, to guide them to Himself, to breathe new life into their lungs and give them hope.

And I wait to see what the Lord will do, praying always that He will give me strength to remain faithful and keep my brothers and sisters faithful as well.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Wisdom Seeker: Day 15

Proverbs 15

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Proverbs 15:3

I know of a family – not a personal friend or even an acquaintance – who lost a 15-year-old son in a horrific circumstance. Though I have no personal contact with them, the story broke my heart and I pray for them.

The circumstances of the child’s death amount to homicide. Accidental, I’m sure, yet still a young life has been snuffed. From what I have heard, there were multiple witnesses and even a video of the event that ended up in a fractured skull and death.

Yet still the death is “under investigation.” Evidently, the video has been withheld. Lies have been told. It’s ugly.

Today I am reminded that nothing goes on that the Lord doesn’t know about. I hurt for the family who lost a son. But I also hurt for the ones who believe their lies are a safety net. I ache for the one who now sees a murderer in the mirror every day.

Even if they manage to keep the truth hidden from the authorities, no one hides truth from the eyes of God. Better to come clean on this side of eternity and face the consequences while there’s still hope for forgiveness in Christ.

It’s a sobering reminder – not just for those who are covering up “big” evil like homicide, but for all of us who are covering up “little” evils like lust, discontent, or so-called white lies. Sin is sin.

And the all-seeing God is a just Judge. One way or another, in this life or in eternity, He will see justice done.

But Christ gave Himself up to the Judge, taking our punishment on Himself instead, if only we will submit ourselves to Him and trust our lives to His hands. None have to face eternal torment. Eternity is a long, long, long time. I have a hard time wishing that on anyone.

Even if the consequences for our sin are difficult to face in this lifetime, better to have our eternity secured in Him than risk extending the hell of guilt and separation from God forever.

Father, forgive us for we have all sinned. Help us to trust in You for ultimate justice and not to fret over what we cannot change. In the case of the murdered child, let justice be done. Comfort the family and let Your grace be sufficient for them in loss.

Save those who are responsible and bring them to repentance over their sin. Save those who witnessed it and make them to think carefully in future choices in the future. And break our hearts for other people, never letting us forget the dire consequences of unrepentant sin, amen.