if only that were true. right now life seems to be a massive tidal wave in a little washing machine. there is SO much going on i don’t even know how to manage it. mostly because i think i just realized how chaotic my life truely is, thanks to my intern for pointing it out.
however, amidst the choas it was quite refreshing to hear from our pastor this morning about being a “prisoner of Christ.” the sermon focused on acts 24-26 and the injustices and delays in paul’s life, which ultimately led to his execution in rome. as many of you know, i have been struggling with this concept of justice for over a year now.
– why do good people have to endure horrible things?
– why do we as Christians have injustices happen to us?
– how do people get away with injustice acts and even seem to be blessed by them at times?
– if God did exist, why does allow these injustices?
1) God’s intention is for a perfect and just world. that’s what we are moving towards (Isaiah)
2) Christ’s reign has begun but is not complete. until Christ’s reign is complete, the world will continue to be unjust.
3) what is my response when I’m the victim of injustice?
#3 really hit a chord with me. what should my response be? typically it’s been anger, resentment, me wallowing in pity, frustration, etc. should it be any different? the answer was yes.
dahlstrom went on to provide a slew of christians who have been persectued, held captive, even exceuted through unjustice. marting luther king jr, victor franco, deidrich bonhoeffer, paul and even Christ all had unjustices done against them. however, the difference between their response and mine was just that. their response was not one to wallow in self pity. but to respond in a way that said “you can’t take away a person’s freedom to respond even though you have taken away their life, their possesions, their job, etc” (paraphrase from Victor Franco).
a good example is looking at paul’s life inacts 24-26. through the delays and injustice, he goes through it all without complaining. his approach is not trying to change his circumstances (which is my normal and typical reaction) but rather to ask what the “RIGHT” thing to do in the moment?
the interesting thing i found through all of this was how these people did not have bitterness or resentment. how could they NOT?! it was, as dahlstrom put it, “people find themselves in the stream of God’s activity.” and only by being in the stream of God’s activity do you realize that you can conquer anything and in the end it’s through God and God alone that justice will prevail. (romans 8).
and finally the challenge for me (as if everything else dahlstrom said wasn’t enough of a challenge) was that even with delays in “our” plans, we must stop saying “my life will begin when ____ happens.” if i wait for my life to be utterly free of injustice and challenges, i’ll be waiting forever. and to be honest, i’m far too type-a to be sitting around and waiting forever. i might as well jump in the deep end and have God pick me up and carry me downstream where the “action” is. i hope you will join me there soon.