Our True Home
If I’m being honest, watching the national news these days feels like a full contact sport. Our heightened awareness of abuse of all kinds, the cutthroat widening of the political aisle, the lack of decency for others and traditional norms being “blown out of the water” leaves a believer muttering the words “Come, Lord Jesus.”
OK…I’m not usually an extremist with these things, but there have been moments when I briefly considered checking in at the nearest monastery with no exit strategy. The temptation to disconnect or to run from it all speaks to a deeper need. In those moments, I need to spend some time in God’s presence with my nose in His Word so I can “center down” and see all of this through the eyes of Jesus.
I guess the condition in the world should be no surprise to any of us as the Lord warns “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6) If I am being honest, there isn’t much comfort there. Instead, it feels like we need to strap our seatbelts on because it is only going to get worse (“Come, Lord Jesus!”). God’s Word tells us this world is not our home; “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…”(Philippians 3:20) but how do we keep some sense of spiritual equilibrium in these turbulent times?
I recently read the following, “How can we live in the midst of a world marked by fear, hatred, and violence, and not be destroyed by it? When Jesus prays to his Father for his disciples he responds to this question by saying, ‘I am not asking you to remove them from the world but to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world’ (John 17:15-16). To live in this world without belonging to the world summarizes the essence of the spiritual life. The spiritual life keeps us aware that our true house is not a house of fear, in which the powers of hatred and violence rule, but the house of love, where God resides.” (Behold the Beauty of the Lord– Henri Nouwen)
So when we watch the evening news and feel overwhelmed by the chaos and confusion, may we all zero in on God’s strength as our moral, ethical and political compass. May our default reaction not be “fight or flight”, but deep compassion for those in the news.
- May there be respect and a willingness to truly hear those who have differing political views than our own. Processing all in the light of the Word and not coming out with our 50-pound Bibles in hand, wagging our fingers because others do not believe as we do.
- May we show prayerful concern for all involved in the “#MeToo” Movement. May truth reign supreme in every situation and there be healing for both victim and predator.
- May we carefully seek God’s wisdom as we experience the challenges of societal norms.
Life is messy and Jesus was able to keep his spiritual stability through prayer and stealing away for quality time in his Father’s presence to rejuvenate and return with missional fervor, then why can’t we?
I grew up watching the TV series “Leave it to Beaver” where June Cleaver wore pearls, heels and an apron as she made dinner for Ward and her sons and by the end of the thirty-minute show all was well in the Cleaver household. I don’t know about you, but a spotless house, immaculate clothing, and perfect outcomes in less that twenty-six minutes have never been a reality in my life. Talk about doing damage to your psyche! Life is messy and Jesus was able to keep his spiritual stability through prayer and stealing away for quality time in his Father’s presence to rejuvenate and return with missional fervor, then why can’t we?
There are still occasions that I mutter “Come, Lord Jesus”, but if the truth be told there is so much here to do. I, for one, would like to stick around and try to make a difference and see how God works. Stay or go…it’s a win/win situation. As the apostle Paul put it, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it”. 2 Corinthians 5:9
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East