So at the dinner table that night when the kids were playing with their space balls and I was churning out facts about our universe, my own internal world was spinning out of its own axis, and out of my control.
I received these news and I tried to stay calm, but tell me, how do you comfort a mama’s breaking heart whose 4 year old son had jumped to his death in a fatal accident, or the wife of a husband partnered for decades who died an instant death on a normal and unassuming Tuesday morning? My heart was about to burst open in grief, and I found no reason for joy when all of life, just seemed hopeless.
Sometimes it feels like your world’s about to crash anytime any day and really, nothing is for keeps.
How do we know that God is good, regardless of the whatever in life?
“…Okay, who here knows how big our universe is?”, I asked, and swallowed hard.
Can we sincerely put our trust in One who claims to be good and spring life light in the air of grace and laugh loud from a heart of faith?
Well, I read it out aloud to myself now; they say that the universe can be expressed in five terms: “time, space, matter, power, and motion”, and that God incorporates all of that when He created our universe.
“In the beginning [“time”] God created [“power”] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter] . . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters.”
The first thing, they say, God tells man is, and I whispered it to myself now: He controls of all aspects of the universe.
And that He is on top of everything that happens in our universe. The good, and the very bad.
I saw their hands that cupped those miniature planets – and see how small our world must seem in the hand of the One who created it, from whom all life originates.
The good Father, who controls everything – our universe, and the vastness of them all, the jubilee and the jeopardy, and stays in charge.
I remember our dear Pastor, once healthy, now wheel-chair bound, who decides that the best way to live the rest of his life is to live it for God, and in the midst of screaming pain and daily bodily suffering, lived out this truth out loud:
“God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives. Felt weakness deepens dependence on Christ for strength each day. The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. And the harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away. To live with your ‘thorn’ uncomplainingly — that is, sweet, patient, and free in heart to love and help others, even though every day you feel weak — is true sanctification. It is true healing for the spirit. It is a supreme victory of grace.” J.I. Packer
Jesus said to his believers, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:23).
If believing is what He demands, then faith is our soul’s true work. Can we muster strength to slow the frenzied heart and feast it on faith? Would we fill our minds with all the ways He’s loved us, stake our lives on the way He works, and see the God who’s fully alive, fully active, and fully involved, and thus speak life into all things bleak and deathly in our world?
Like Paul whose life is being poured out like a drink offering, his legacy was spelled out with an intentionality to live the temporal life with an eternal eye, to live life with the full view that God is the One who ultimately wins.
On that day, when all looked hopeless and our universe was literally about to break, Jesus went to the Cross.
Sometimes it had to get really dark before it could become really bright.
There were yelling and there were screaming and an innocent man was killed on the Cross, the guiltless carrying the sin of the world.
They thought it was over.
They thought that we were over.
But we forgot that there was resurrection after the crucifixion.
Life after the gruesome death.
The Cross, the forever antidote for our world gone bad, for every universe broken apart.
So here’s for keeps – an anchor thrown for the saving of our hope when our world tears apart and we are bleeding the injustice of life.
This we have to believe: that though this world is very dark, He is still very bright, and though all else seem to fail, He still has a plan.
So when we hung the planets in their space, and I tucked the kids all to bed, my eyes opened to see and my heart slowed to rest. Yes, yes, we can always be safe in the hand of the One who measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, marked off the heavens with His nail-scarred fingers and the bloodied palms – because in His hands is our universe held.