Andrew Peterson’s song “He Is Worthy” played on repeat during my drive home a few months ago.
The song is reminiscent of liturgical worship—like when the church leader asks a question and the congregation responds as one voice. The first verse goes like this:
Do you feel the world is broken?
Do you feel the shadows deepen?
But do you know that all the dark won’t
stop the light from getting through?
Do you wish that you could see it all made new?
It wasn’t until the song played the third time through that the first couple questions stopped me in my tracks. Do you feel the world is broken? Do you feel the shadows deepen?
The simple response, “We do,” felt like an understatement.
Recently, it’s been made clear that a lot of this world isn’t just broken, it’s an absolute mess. The past year has given us many reasons to question the existence of hope. Among all the issues that have surfaced, one theme remains: Humanity is divided—over anything and everything.
- Wear a mask or don’t?
- Tackle injustice within our immediate communities or take a stand on social media?
- Vote—but for who?
No matter where you stand, you’re deemed either evil or stupid by the opposing side.
While differing opinions are not inherently wrong, we now demonize anyone who carries a view that slightly opposes ours. Social media certainly worsens this cause. Suddenly we have a platform to share our opinion from behind a screen. No one sees our faces as we verbally attack those whose paradigms are different from ours with arguments we’ve barely thought through and can’t even defend. It feels safer. We’re unwilling to listen or empathize with the other side. We say things we’d never dream of saying to someone we love (or don’t even know) face-to-face.
Needless to say, the extent of our brokenness has become abundantly clear.
Around the time I was listening to this song, I had been feeling the heaviness of the world’s division, as though a sizable portion of it were resting on my shoulders. I felt weighed down to the point that I couldn’t take action to do anything about all that had surfaced. I was literally sick to my stomach. I felt stuck.
But this song is right.
We have hope because the division, pain, and injustice all around us is NOT the end of the story. Jesus’ light is stronger than all of this darkness and Jesus’ light is here.
This reality doesn’t mean that we ignore suffering or pretend that division doesn’t exist. Rather we do the work that we can do to bring restoration and reconciliation now—because as Christians, we serve as ‘extensions’ of Jesus’ light (Matthew 5:14). We alleviate suffering by caring for those with physical and spiritual needs, we dislodge the log in our own eye before attempting to clean out the speck in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3), we love those who are hard to love (Matthew 5:43-48). This is a part of what it means to bring God’s kingdom here on earth (Matthew 6:10).
You probably feel the intense darkness, division, and brokenness of our world. But as Christians, our lives can bring the light of Christ in tangible ways for the good of creation and the glory of God (Matthew 5:13-16).
Friends, we’ve been invited into kingdom work, and here’s some good news: we can lean into this work without carrying the burden of ultimate restoration on our shoulders.
Christ carries that, and he always will.
P.S. This post was originally sent out a few months ago as an email newsletter. Each month I send an email with the intention of reminding my email list friends to breathe, remember what’s important, and refocus their gaze on Christ. If you resonated with this post and want to be one of the first to read more like this, click here.
Wonderful, Samantha! It’s so great to hear your hope is in our Savior — we need more people telling others about salvation. Especially young people! If you haven’t already, read 1 Timothy 4. I thought of verse 12 when I read your blog: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Thank you for this wonderful example.
So fun to hear from you Mrs. Zylstra! Thanks for your kind words & for sharing that verse! I do love that passage 🙂