The lottery millions soar. Your friend gets divorced. A teen commits suicide. Thousands across the world die of starvation.
There may be no outward response to situations like these. And often, because of our experience or the relative distance there may be no inward response either. But make no mistake, something happens. And to top it all off, you, I get to decide what happens.
The lottery soars. Do you go buy a ticket? Wish you could buy a ticket? Dream about what you would do with the millions? Allow the seed of bitterness to touch on your finances, God’s provision? Question the goodness of your Savior?
Your friend gets divorced. Do you chalk it up to the world, our evil days? Do you wish you could dump the spouse that you argue with? Allow guilt to seep in about all you didn’t do? Put up a wall to keep a fallen brother or sister distant? You may not know that you’ve even responded in these ways but you do notice your hardened heart, a closure in you spirit.
A teen commits suicide. Do you fear for your own children? Do you protect them, control them, hinder them? Do you question their commitment to God? Condemn their inability to deal with life, problems, reality? Do you fear your own inability to cope, to see a way through your present? Do you blame their parents, their choices, their schools, their peers?
Thousands die. Do you develop phobias and compensate for them? Do you allow yourself to be desensitized to their needs? Cocoon your heart and mind from the pain of SEEING their suffering? Trash the cries for help, the pleas for money? Do you settle? “I’ve done as much as I can.”
I’m asking myself these questions. Not to condemn myself, though that may not be entirely inappropriate. But I wonder, is what happens inside of me the same thing that happens inside my King? Do I respond to those around me the way my Savior would? It will cost me. It will hurt.
But what happens inside of me if I won’t let them in?