We almost lost a tree in our front yard. I know it sounds impossible because we just moved in, and I promise you we watered our new lawn and trees. We just didn’t realize how much water a baby tree requires. It was so close to being completely dead that it lost almost every leaf and what little was left was completely brown. Water is the only thing that can help our tree now and as I’ve been nurturing this dried up tree back to life, watering it’s thirsty ground each morning, my mind goes to the Living Water and how badly this world needs it. Living Water is the only thing that can save, that can quench our needs and satisfy our hearts. Living Water resurrects life where only death can be seen. My tree is slowly perking up and showing signs of life, green leafs shyly peeking out, still a little crispy and tan on the edges and then multiplying into velvety, bright kelly green leafs.
In the past month, every day seems to bring more heartbreak in world than the last. As I sat down to write and process through the recent evil acts happening in our country and world, I got a little newsflash blurb on my computer screen saying that more death, more evil, more destruction has struck again. Again, before I can even catch my breath from the last thing. After reading the most recent news I went outside with my coffee and watched my kids run through the sprinklers, completely oblivious to the sadness in the world around them. I sat there I stared off and thought, “Can good really make a dent against all this evil?” And I do believe that it can, even though it requires so much more work, sacrifice and intention. But deep down, I know in my heart that this unrest can’t be calmed and healed with anything but Jesus. Not truly. I think that mankind can band together and make some change in the world, but I’m talking about the hurt in our hearts.
I’m so hopeful though. Because from where I sit I can see new life budding on my tree and I know that God’s desire is to bring new life to dying hearts. I know that he fulfilled the greatest desire we all have--that we could be loved enough that someone would do ANYTHING to save us and keep a genuine and loving relationship with us. He did. He did what none of us would want to do, and being a perfect and holy God, he did what none of us are capable of doing. He gave up his perfect and holy Son, to reconcile our hearts to him. Because the sin we’re stained with makes it impossible to be clean and pure and holy. Purity can’t be intermingled with impurity, the two can’t coexist. So we’d be apart from our loving Creator forever.
Except that He was willing to do whatever it took. He was willing to give his perfect, pure, sinless Son to take our disgrace upon himself instead. And he was willing to let his son die so that we wouldn’t have to face an eternity of death as the consequence of a life lived through sin. And all we have to do is give up our sinfulness and take on the fullness of the grace He poured out at the cross. Grace for us through faith in His Son.
His grace reached to the depths of ugliness and hate, to save us.
I look at all the vile corruption and disdain and hate that is running rampant right now, and to be honest--I see the same raw materials that are in me. I’ve got that same sinful nature, but being a “good girl” I’d like to believe that I could never be so horrible, so wicked. But that’s not the truth, apart from God there’s nothing eternally good or righteous that grows in me.
But then I turn my eyes. I see God, there’s no trace or smear or stain of darkness in him. He is good, pure, righteous, lovely, sovereign, peaceful. These last days of mourning and shock and anger, they are terrible and burdensome--but they also magnify the difference between mankind and God. And amplify our need for his Light.
So that’s where I’ll put my hope and my prayers. I’ll continue praying that God’s character, His love, and His Gospel good news would be exponentially magnified to the watching world each hour. I’m praying and believing that no matter how darkness reaches our lives, stealing and killing and destroying--that God comes to bring life and He will continue give it abundantly to all those who believe.