They’re predicting cold, rain, storms, and all around gray weather in Paris this week. Somehow it seems indicative of the troubles in this world where evil is always searching to gain a foothold, and where it sometimes succeeds. Doesn’t it always feel hopeful when the sun is shining and despairing when it’s not?
When Jesus was nailed to the cross – the brief period when evil reined – on that day, from noon until three o’clock when he drew his last breath, darkness came over all the land. The sun hid its face that day while evil had its foothold.
But what came after that day was goodness. Evil reined for three hours. Goodness reins for eternity.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:21-39)
What separates us from God’s love through Jesus? Nothing! Not death, not even life. Not angels, not even demons. Not the present, not even the future or anything else that one could conjure up and dread. Not height that would bring us into God’s royal court, not even the depth that leads down to hell. Not anything in creation. Not anyone. Not one single man.
I am sticking to simplicity as I wait until the dawn takes the earth by its edges and shakes the wicked out of it.* I am quiet, I’m listening, I’m patient.
In simplicity, I’m meditating on my favourite hymn, written by a Romanian prisoner. In simplicity, I think, and sing, and pray these words over and again:
I pray, o Lord Jesus, my love you’d increase
That I, like you Jesus, might offer men peace.
My soul wells with longing for lips with your grace
And eyes of compassion for each searching face.
This is what I’m doing as I wait for God’s perfect justice. This is what I’m doing when everything is gray.
* (Referencing Job 38)
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