Living in a broken world

dark storm cottonwood lake

Storm over Cottonwood Lake, Windom, MN

Sometimes life feels cozy and content. Other times a different dark reality becomes more evident. Everything we know begins to shake. Rage. Spin. Turn upside down. Dissolve. Till nothing is left. What remains? Through the pain and suffering, we see the faint broken remains. Raw, humiliating, leftover pieces. Still open. Still healing. But still it continues. Somewhere, gunshots fire, bombs explode, and buildings collapse, causing debri and smoke to consume the air of all present. Darkness drives the hearts of mankind, at least those who agree to partner with its merciless demands. Not to mention earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, famines, disease, and all that plagues the world. At times it seems that death is just waiting at the doorway. So close. Too close. Maybe that is true. And if so, how then will I respond to to this breath of clean, fresh air God has given? What can I say as I peacefully lay my head to sleep at night, resting until the next beautiful morning comes? Why has God chosen to place us here and now? Why this time and place?

On one hand, I know everything it can disappear in a flash. Life is a vapor, like dew on the morning grass that evaporates as the sun rises. We don’t deserve anything, yet, God, you’ve been so gracious in all you do. So much you’ve redeemed us from. So much you’ve provided. So much hope you’ve given our souls. So much you’ve guarded us from, probably more than we’ll ever realize or be able to express thanks for. Show us how to walk in radical obedience, even in the mundane and regular parts of life. You love us so much, and are even jealous that we love you in return. You’ve given us all of Yourself, holding nothing back. It is just as David declared; Your love reaches to the heavens, and Your faithfulness to the skies! Even when deep darkness seems to fill the earth and cover the people, Your light rises upon us that Your glory might be seen through our lives. There is no need to fear, because Christ has already defeated death and the grave. You are victorious, strong and mighty. You have promised to be our light and shield, leading and guiding us through this life. Plus, You haven’t given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind.

Initially, I began writing to express my awe of God’s grace and this miracle of life. It is just incredibly humbling to realize how through everything, God protects, provides and never leaves our side. Even during the darkest of times, He comforts and speaks truth to our hearts. Moments of darkness are different for each person, but God hears every cry. He feels our pain. His love is strong. His faithfulness is constant. He is here.

You’ve given us so much, Lord, but not just so we can be comfy and cozy. You bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. So we can step outside and be Your hands and feet. So we can be a living expression of your generous, abundant heart. Yes, so we can follow you into a broken world, bringing Your presence. Hope. Healing. Justice. Restoration. Life. As You abide in us, and we abide in You, heaven in its brilliance and beauty comes to invade earth. And even if we only live one more day, there is still so much to be thankful for. Each passing moment and breath that we breathe is evidence of Your mercy and grace. It is this very grace that empowers us to live holy lives unto You, shining as a beacon of light in a dark land. Lord, what is on Your heart today? Where are dark and avoided places in my community? Where are the dry places, thirsty and desperate for your living water? Where are you leading me? Let your kingdom come here today..

In a dark world full of brokenness, we can either
1) Be consumed by darkness
2) Hide in a cozy room full of light
3) Open the door and bring the carry the light wherever God leads, whether abroad, across the country or across town.
Or maybe even right here at home.
Just maybe.

rainbow cottonwood lake

Rainbow over Cottonwood Lake, Windom, MN

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