The earth is full of beauty. Thousands of people simultaneously gasp while a scarlet ball of fire sinks below the horizon, casting purple, orange, and pink across the sky – while one little girl catches a glimpse of the bluest of blue, astonished at the discovery of six eggs cradled in a neatly built nest of mud and grass.
The earth has the ability to take our breath away.
But the earth is also full of misery – whether thousands watch as wildfires destroy a lifetime of memories or one watches at the bedside as cancer slowly takes their dying loved one.
The heavens echo with anger and pain being sent from earth to God – why? Why?
And the heavens return silence. But does it?
This morning, I watched the smiling, grateful faces responding to the relief of rain that fell upon a portion of the ashen western states.
We don’t understand everything in life. How is it that the cold nights and dewy mornings are sufficient for life in the desert? How is it that two parts from two bodies meet and form human life? Every day we accept what we do not fully understand. Yet, when tragedy strikes we shake our fist at God. Can you imagine how many fists are raised to the heavens every day?
And like a loving, earthly father feels compassion for his crying child, God feels compassion for us. The child may not understand, may not receive what he wants – yet the father wipes away the tears and comforts.
What are you going through? After you shake your fist or cry, will you see and be thankful for the relief that God brings in the midst of your sadness and loss?
How can you not have hope?
It’s natural to blame God for what went wrong. Go ahead. He’s got the shoulders for it.
But you know what I’ve found? His love is so strong for you that he will let you rant and rave and scream. He’ll let you sulk and be miserable.
Have you ever witnessed a child doing the same? Do you still love him or her? Do you have compassion for the child’s short-sightedness? Of course you do.
But then there comes a time to let it go and move on. But you can only do so if you want to. And God will prompt you in little ways – just like a parent would with a child. Only God is way better.
You have to trust in something.
When our computer goes up we call someone who knows how to fix it. We trust the technician.
When our car breaks down we call someone who knows how to fix it. We trust the mechanic.
But for some reason, when things go wrong in our lives we don’t call the one who knows how to fix it. In fact, we do everything “but”.
God made you. He knows what works and what doesn’t. We are given the choice whether we believe that or not.
I can tell you for certainty, he knows how to help you. But it may take some patience on your part. It may take being teachable and willing to listen. It may take doing some things you don’t want to do.
Today we celebrate the birth of a free nation. Heated debates and fervent discussions were held in sweltering meeting places as our statesmen wrestled over the grueling decisions for America’s birth. Still others continued with courage and conviction for America to forge her path into the future.
Many, many have died for our freedom. Your heart may ache over the loved you lost who died – or the loved one who is suffering emotional or physical losses – to protect and defend our freedom.
How you think about things makes a big difference. We can see the glass half-full or half-empty.
Half-full isn’t just positive thinking. It’s hope. It’s believing that good can happen just as quickly as the bad happened.
It’s all in how you choose to see things.
Don’t allow cynicism to cloud your thinking. Or else your glass will be completely empty.