During my 9.5 hour isolation on Friday I had quite a bit of time to think. I was listening to Christian music and on the radio they occasionally share bible verses and inspirational messages. I always enjoy hearing these things because, even if only for a moment, they restore my hope in humanity. Fleeting as that may be.
So, what do you think of when you hear the word: EVIL.
How about this? What do you think of when you hear the word: LIVE.
Notice anything special there?
If you haven’t already guess it then here it is: Evil backwards spells live.
So I got thinking really hard about this and I decided that that didn’t just happen by coincidence. Or if it somehow did happen by coincidence, someone is having a really good laugh right now.
Our lives are filled with evil. Every single day we run into SOMETHING. The devil is always at work in our lives trying to get a hold of us and pull us away from our savior. We constantly face trials. If we’re not in one right now then we all know that we’re heading towards one. I’m not be fatalistic, here. Even though the trial or issue itself may be horribly uncomfortable and even scary at times, I always enjoy what I learn from it and in reflection of my own personal life – there isn’t a trial I would trade because of all the benefits and lessons its taught me (this is in hindsight, of course). I believe that we are faced with evil in our lives so that we can adequately learn how to live.
It is my own personal belief that God does not place evil directly upon us. I believe in free will and I think that God places forks in the road in front of us. We have a lifetime of lessons to learn and we get to choose how we go about learning them. For example, with myself – I had a WHOLE lot to learn about relationships, self-worth, self-love, taking care of myself, etc. I probably could have learned those lessons in a little bit of a different way than the path that I ultimately chose to take. I wouldn’t trade my experience in Denver for the world – I learned SO much in such a short amount of time and I truly feel like a stronger, wiser individual because of it. Did I HAVE to get those lessons in that exact way? Probably not. The likely hood is that I would have learned those same lessons at some point in my life through various ways. But it is what it is. I was shrouded by evil and I chose to LIVE in God’s glory and grace and mercy. With my decision to LIVE in the light of God, he held my hand throughout the whole ordeal and here I am today – still alive (more so than ever before) to tell about it!
My point is this: We are faced with evil. Whether you believe it is placed on you by God, whether you think it’s simply to learn a lesson that you are in need of learning, or whether you think it is the work of the devil – maybe all of those combined in some way…you can choose to LIVE in God’s forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, kindness, etc. We have an almighty God who always has a hand outstretched for us. It’s tough…possibly the hardest thing ever, when you face a trial to run to God and say, “Help me to LIVE in your glory amongst all this evil.” Human nature is to place blame: “God why did you bestow this evil on me.” “God where are, why aren’t you there?” etc.
I think that it’s crucial that we recognize this human weakness and that we pay particular attention to go the other way – Run to God and you will be given life. You will find the strength to LIVE amongst evil and to find strength even in your weakest moments.
“I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help.”
“But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.”
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”