School shootings. Hurricanes. Human trafficking. Heroin overdoses. Tsunamis. Tornadoes. Addiction. Divorce. Death. Suicide. Brokenness. Sin. Pride. Selfishness. Anger. Lust. These things are all bleak.
When we hear “God wants to redeem and restore all things” we can easily move to “Where was God?” And while this is in no way an exploration into the depths of sin’s brokenness and our depravity, it’s more a hope to shed some clarity on living free in Christ and not weighed down and overwhelmed when we hear and see so much brokenness.
When there is so much sin around us it can seem overwhelming and lead us to try and do everything or lose hope and do nothing. Neither of these is a response to the Gospel.
It must start, as we have previously hashed out, with searching the deepest belief in our heart. And honestly, if we sit here and struggle to believe, then stop reading and seek out a conversation with someone to wade through your own personal doubts and fears. I know some great men and women who would love to wade through this with you, feel free to contact me.
Assuming we have done the work in our hearts, we must next begin to identify the spaces and places we are placed. However, this too often leads to overwhelming frustration. A freshman has been placed at their specific school, but to expect them to enter into a relationship with every other freshman in hopes of seeing Gospel restoration and hearts reached would be too great a burden. We must see ourselves as contributors, each with a role to play, though none expected to carry the whole [that is the work of the Holy Spirit].
While none of us can go everywhere, all of us are called somewhere. Yet, even in that somewhere, it is broken down even further (which we’ll dig deeper into our question of “Who will you reach?”) God’s plan involves a lot of someones, and their collective somewheres equals everyone, everywhere.God’s plan involves a lot of someones, and their collective somewheres equals everyone, everywhere. Click To Tweet
So, what is your somewhere? This should be two-fold. One of these is natural (and the most difficult) while the other is often from an experience where the Spirit broke our hearts for that specific somewhere and its someones.
Often, the church has been good at going to a specific somewhere. I have loved watched students return over and over to a city or country where God has truly given them a burden for the people and the work He is doing there. However, myself included, where we tend to struggle is in our natural somewhere. The place we go every day that we often aren’t actively seeking to be a contributor to God’s work. Because we haven’t allowed the Gospel to train us in the everyday, we don’t see these places as everyday spaces to bring restoration.
The Gospel isn’t about withdrawing from society but about being salt and light. And while often the intentional spaces look like holding a kids club or building a house, those aren’t a natural rhythm when you are carting kids from game to game, waiting in the lobby of the dentist office, or sipping a latte. So how do we redeem these moments to become collective contributors in the everyday somewhere?
Abide. If we don’t spend time with Jesus, our day won’t reproduce anything that looks like Jesus.
Believe. Search what you believe. If we never abide in God’s word, reminding ourselves that each person is an image-bearer of God, we will never respond with dignity towards them. If we forget we have been forgiven much, we won’t forgive much. If we lose sight of the hope of Jesus, we will never speak of the hope to our kids.
God is in the work of redeeming and restoring all things to Himself. 2 Peter 3:9 says this: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Will you take that step, recognizing yourself as a collective contributor, embracing your somewhere, in hopes of reaching someone, that they would be restored to Jesus?We must see ourselves as contributors, each with a role to play, though none expected to carry the whole (that is the work of the Holy Spirit). Click To Tweet