|Photos courtesy Erik Thorson copyright 2012|
...indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.
His body was battered, his eyes half-open, as he was dragged through the streets of Benghazi.
Her little body was fully formed and lifeless as it lay face-down in a trash can in India, surrounded by the other "products of conception."
Their faces were grim as they reported from the embattled embassy in Cairo.
His words were foul as he cursed others in the name of Satan on Twitter.
It's been a tough day in God's world. The images from television and Internet have been especially sobering lately. Across the planet, hate reverberates across the airwaves as man's inhumanity to man intensifies.
There's only so much a person can take. On a day like this, it's easier to turn away than to watch the carnage.
Post a recipe on Pinterest. Go shopping. Shut out the darkness.
Sometimes the silence from heaven itself seems deafening. Can't God see what is happening? Doesn't He care about the innocent men, women, children, and animals being destroyed every day? Where is God as the earth plunges toward destruction?
In the book of Numbers, we are told that the people of Israel had barely been delivered from the Egyptians when the complaining began. As they stood on the brink of the Promised Land, they feared the giants in the land more than they trusted God. So they plotted rebellion.
This breach of trust provoked God so much, He threatened to destroy them and start over with Moses. Moses interceded successfully in their behalf, but not before we are given a glimpse of the tremendous effort with which God holds back His hand from judgment.
God really, really cares about us. His great heart is broken by the wickedness He must endure every day. He longs to end the conflict and see justice reign on earth. It would only take a word from Him.
But He waits.
So His patience is seen as indifference; His long-suffering viewed as impotence. His silence is interpreted as nonexistence.
And still He waits.
He waits because it gives Him no pleasure to destroy His creation. We are so very much His. He longs for His long-lost world to understand this. As it burns, He continues to reach out to us with the gift of life.
Think He doesn't feel our pain? Look at His hands.
It takes a big man to exercise self-control under ridicule and abuse. It takes a big God to do this while carrying the entire weight of mankind's folly until all have heard of His immense love.
Don't be discouraged by what you see happening around you. The day is coming when all the earth will hear His voice. He has sworn by His own name that in that day, the earth will be filled with His glory. He will wipe our tears away, and justice will reign.
Until then, we can believe that God cares about the suffering. He is very much at work in our lives, healing and strengthening and comforting all who cry out to Him. With us, He yearns for the day when His glory is released.
...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
and there will no longer be any death;
there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;
the first things have passed away.