The first time your “comfort bubble” gets popped it is kind of frightening. Firstly, because many of us don’t even know it is there. Secondly, because it makes us come face to face with the reality that this world is broken, in desperate need of a savior. No matter how hard we try we cannot change this daunting reality – each and everyone of us is broken, rebellious, and sinful at the core.
My son, who will be 2 in August, is not a good kid. He will never be a good kid in and of himself. He’s not going to be a good kid who “just made a few bad choices.” He is a rebellious, sinner who fully deserves wrath and judgement – the same as I, the same as you. Which – if this is the end of the story – is a bit frightening.
It scares me because I can’t make my kid good by keeping a list of who he can and cannot hang out with. I cannot make my kid good by controlling his technology or environment. By limiting what rating shows he watches. By homeschooling or private schooling or public schooling in a “safe” district. At the core of each and every one of us – things are not good. We are not good. And no power in this world, no person in the White House, no law passed on the Hill – nothing on Earth can change our situation.
Within us is the possibility of great darkness. But – we were not left in darkness. We were offered hope. The hope of Jesus – the spotless lamb of God who shed his blood to satisfy the wrath of God, the due penalty for our sins. Our brokenness. Our rebellion. Through Jesus death and resurrection, we who were dead – completely and utterly unable to save ourselves or change our situation – were given the opportunity to be made alive again. [Ephesians 2:4-5] This is good news.
And this perspective matters. Because when we remind ourselves daily what we were and who we are now is not by our own doing it changes the way we consider other things. [Ephesians 2:11-13] We don’t settle for comfort because we remember when our darkness was uncomfortable. We remember the work – and the people Jesus used – to bring us from darkness to light.
And do we not believe – the almighty God of the universe – can do such a great work? If he could in me – then why not in these? Have we so limited our view of God we believe this generation around us is without hope? What Jesus are we projecting when we look at those hurting and in darkness and say there is no hope for them?
Do we not believe Jesus can rescue the man whose addictions and darkness seem overwhelming? Do we not believe Jesus can heal the wounds of the family torn apart through turmoil?
True – there will be those whose hearts are hard. But have we prayed – prayed as though we believed God is capable of this? Have we worked – worked as though God would so graciously use us to bring hope – good news – to these around us? Or do we sit and say – its just too much. Its too tiring to walk around this wall another time – and yet…what if we were faithful? What if we believe maybe…maybe God would move that seventh time. Maybe the walls would fall. And if not? He is still good. He is still worth to be praised.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)