Last week Tuesday I read a devotion to my homeroom that I had written 3 years ago. Entitled, “There is No Peace on Earth,” the post was written is response to the Sandy Hook shooting. I read it to the class on Tuesday because my heart was once again heavy with the burdens of this world. How was I to know that come Wednesday afternoon, it would get even heavier? How was I to know the words I had written 3 years prior would take on new meaning just a few hours later?
On Tuesday I read to my class about the lack of peace on this planet because it seems like lately we’ve been talking about tragedy on a daily basis. Lately we’ve been praying for victims recovering and for loved ones grieving almost every week.
Today’s world has been crippled by sin and is crumbling from all the violence.
It is a world full of car bombs and suicide bombers, ISIS and Boko Haram, stabbings and shootings, evil and hatred.
It is a world so broken and so hurt, many live in fear and will turn away people in desperate need of refuge because of a fear of terrorism in their own neighborhoods.
It’s a world where Paris and Mali and Beruit and Colorado Springs are suddenly violent and terrifying places.
On Wednesday we added San Bernardino to that list. And today we add Chad.
When will it stop, God?!? When?
Here are the words I read to my students on Tuesday:
When the sorrow reaches the marrow and the heart is twisted with grief, this is the hope I cling to: it won’t always be like this. His kingdom WILL come one day. One day He WILL wipe the tears and restore this broken world to what it was intended to be. Oh how I long for that kingdom.
In the midst of sorrow and tragedy, Longfellow wrote about peace. He wrote about Jesus bringing peace to the earth even when it seems like there is none.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Tonight it does seem as if “there is no peace on earth.” It does seem like “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth.”
But Longsfellow saw past the sorrow to the place where God still reigns.
And we can too.
Hallelujah that “God is not dead. Nor doth He sleep.”
Hallelujah that one day “the wrong shall fail and the right will prevail.”
Hallelujah that one day there truly will be peace on earth.
Because one day His kingdom WILL come.
And days like today make me long for it all the more.
Three years later, and I’m still talking with my classes about how it seems like there is no peace on earth.
Three years later, and I’m still singing hallelujah that God has brought peace into our hearts, that He is not dead nor doth he sleep.
Three year later, and I’m still longing for Jesus to come back and fix this messed up world once and for all.
This morning I read Psalm 145 and was reminded that God sees the brokenness of our world.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
God hears our cries and has compassion on us. He watches over us and promises to one day destroy the wicked. And He offers us a kingdom very different from the world in which we now live. A kingdom free from terrorism.
Free from fear.
Free from violence.
Free from sin.
Oh what a kingdom that will be!!
Come, Lord Jesus.