Sunday, March 13, 2011

As We Wait in Joyful Hope....

I was thinking the other day about how easy it is to get pulled into a sense of foreboding about the future.
Reading the news online these days, especially with global unrest, financial instability, and horrendous natural disasters, such as the devastating earthquake in Japan, one is so tempted to view the current situation as a sign that God has decided to let us go our way and try making it without Him. There is so much to fear and to be uncertain about, if you let the cacophony of the effects of sin and chaos pull you in.
There is undoubtedly an oily residue of sin blanketing the world that seems to be beyond anything that the human race has ever seen before.
We are bombarded with images and stories of evil unleashed, and it's effects. How can the world go on this way? How can there be anything but punishment due to this race that has grown from a willful toddler to a flat-out rebellious teenager over the course of history? Aren't we due for some serious tough-love?
I imagine that we will continue to be a race of selfish children.
But God will also continue to be a loving Father. I think we tend to attribute our own emotions to God in a way that makes Him too much like us.
I don't think we can grasp how big God really is, and how much He can love. We can't possibly imagine a God who can take the amount of sin and corruption that we are dishing out and not just lose His temper and slap us a good one.
Maybe it's the difference between God's relationship with us collectively, and His ability to deal with each one of us individually with the Love and Mercy of a Father.
I think we can tend to become overwhelmed by the big picture, seeing the whole world in all it's ugliness, while God is to be found in the macro.
He is there, where there are people praying in front of abortion clinics. He is there when a legislator risks his, or her, next election to stand on principle and vote the Truth. He is there at every Mass, every service, every time a prayer is said. He is there as the rescuers dig through the rubble in Japan, and He is there while parents cry over a child with cancer.
We find Him now in the small pictures, and He is coming again, someday, to take control of the big picture. That is where our hope lies.

Considering the number of people that have come and gone, over the course of history, since Jesus ascended to His Father, there were times in every one of those ages, when the people of God were certain that this MUST be it. God MUST have had enough, and it was time for the tribulation. And, it was. Every single soul that is born into life on this Earth must undergo tribulation. Every age is the last age for those that live in it. We are all called to "repent and believe in the Gospel", as "we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
He is coming. He said He would, in the same way that He left, when the fullness of time has passed. He did NOT give us a timetable. A timetable would be a distraction and would give us WAY too much information. We are small children that can't conceive of the grand equation that God has worked out for His creation.

He is coming. For each and everyone of us, and that is what we need to focus on. We are the children of the small picture. We are to be focused on the macro, taking Christ to the world wherever He is needed. Everyone of us needs to be looking at the place that we are planted and "Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depends upon you". "Wait in Joyful Hope!" Really! Nothing is bigger than God, and that is cause for JOY. 
There can be joy even in our trials as we work to further the Kingdom and show forth His goodness. What better time to live than a time in which people need God the most? It is an honor to be His ambassadors of Truth to a world that is under siege by the father of lies.

Mary has given us many messages about prayer, fasting and faithfulness to her Son. She is our loving mother and wants to guide us to eternal life. Her messages should not be taken out of the context of God's mercy. While dire consequences await all those who refuse God's love, we are 
only responsible for the time that we are given and the place that we are living during that time.

Let us use our time during the season of Lent to shed God's love on a suffering world, in our given time and space. Let God be God, because, no matter what we are asked to bear, He is with us. He is the Father that wants us to live in Joyful Hope.

1 comment:

Andrew & Laura said...

Beautiful! And THAT is full of hope - I refuse the believe that this world has been forsaken - didn't He tell us He would never leave us? We have so much to be joyful about, and those of us who are truly living our lives in Him should be so excited about seeing Him face to face!