By Jill Briscoe
As I have traveled this world from east to west and have seen God’s fingerprints in His marvelous creation, I have had to conclude that this is God’s world! As I have looked with awe and delight at His creative handiwork in China, Europe, and the Americas, I could almost hear Him say to me as He said to Job:
Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy (Job 38:4-7)?
Yes, this is my Father’s world. Yet the pain and evil I see in our current culture helps me to understand a little bit better why this, my Father’s world, broke my Father’s heart. I understand in a new way why it says in Gen. 6:5-6, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.”
I have visited prisoners in Taiwan, stood in the killing fields of Cambodia, heard a bomb blast close at hand in Croatia, watched British SWAT teams hunt for terrorists in Northern Ireland, and returned home to the “good old U.S. of A.” to hear hundreds of our own kids killing each other on the streets. As I look and listen in all these situations, the violence, the victimization, as well as the victory of the book of Job begin to make sense to me. There is so much pain, not only in our extreme physical dilemmas, but also in the emotional and relational realms of current culture. Husbands and wives beat and devour each other; children agonize over what they did wrong to cause Daddy or Mommy to leave the family; mental and verbal abuse are meted out to tiny children, the old, and the infirm. Even churches and some of their leaders self-destruct, bringing spiritual pain to hundreds of disillusioned people.
But I am a Christian. And so I believe that this, my Father’s world that broke my Father’s heart, has not been abandoned. This is God’s world, and He wants it back! He will not allow it to blow itself to pieces. As Job puts it, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). God does have a plan—a purpose for this hurting world. It is to reconcile people to Himself through Christ, to give humanity a chance to know Him, to be forgiven, and to learn how to forgive in return. Our heavenly Father wants us to live empowered by Him in this life, with the certain hope of living with Him in glory in the next. To this end, the Father calls individuals to Himself and makes them a family, entrusting His own to make this good news known to those who have never heard it.
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