Turning on the Light in a Dark World
Several weeks ago, it was a high school in Parkland, Florida. Yesterday, it was a high school in Maryland. These school shootings are happening all over America. Innocent kids and teachers are dying or suffering from scarring physical and mental injuries.
And our response is a chaotic mess of noise. We blame guns. We blame mental illness. We blame politicians. Perhaps there is fault in all of these things. We can certainly do better.
But what if it’s something more?
Where is God?
When tragedies like these happen, our first response is usually to send our thoughts and prayers. Of course, this is a loving and powerful thing to do, but it does beg the question–where is God in all of this?
Is He there? And if He is, then how can God be good if He allows such evil to happen?
Gideon asked these same questions in the book of Judges when Israel was under the oppression of the Midianites. Gideon was a humble man chosen by God to deliver the Israelites, but first, Gideon had to get some things off of his chest.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:12-13 NIV).
To Gideon, it didn’t seem like God was with them. In fact, he felt abandoned by God. In today’s world, it can be easy to feel like God has abandoned our nation. With all of the violence, hatred, and immorality, America seems to have lost its connection with God.
But that was also Israel in the book of Judges. They had turned far away from God to worship false idols, so God let the Midianites oppress them. All of this was part of a redemption story to save God’s people from their sin.
America, it’s time to wake up to your redemption story. It’s time to turn on the light.
Created for Light
Check out God’s response to Gideon’s cries.
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14 NIV)
We look at this dark world and wonder where God is. But God created us to shine as lights in the darkness. As Christians, sometimes it seems easier to just sit back and relax until we get to heaven.
But that’s not our calling.
We must be the light that pierces through this dark world. When the world cries violence, we cry peace. When the world cries hatred, we cry love. And when the world cries bondage, we cry freedom.
God is sending you and I to bring His people back.
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Our One Job
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)
We are living in a dying world, and this country obviously can’t heal itself solely through laws and protests. We need the only cure for sin–Jesus Christ.
This Jesus, who died a gruesome and humiliating death on a cross to save us, has called us to go out and shine a light for Him. God has done His job. He has made salvation free and available to all who will come to Him.
Our job is to make this salvation known.
This world is dark, and sometimes downright scary. But if we choose to follow Christ, a powerful light resides in us that can vanquish any darkness and fear. It will shine through our actions and our words.
This is why we were created, and this is our job. This world isn’t going to cure itself, but we can lead it to the only One who can.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
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Emily, thank you for this encouragement. Yes, let us turn on the lights!
Thank you for commenting Christina! Keep on shining 🙂
Emily, a powerful message! I share your thoughts and your prayers for the lost and brokenhearted.
Keep shining, girl!
Thank you Beckie! I know I need this message as well. Your novel has definitely inspired me!